Drumbeat: September 01, 2013

Egypt says preparing timetable for energy debts

(Reuters) - Egypt is preparing a timetable for repaying arrears on debts it owes to foreign oil companies to encourage them to continue investing in the country, the Petroleum Ministry said on Sunday.

Egypt owes at least $5 billion to oil companies producing oil and gas on its territory, with half of it overdue, according to corporate reports issued earlier this year.

The government, seeking to avoid public unrest, has delayed oil payments as it struggles to meet soaring energy bills caused by high subsidies on fuel products. Some of the debts were accumulated even before Mubarak was ousted.

WTI Falls a Second Day as Concern Eases on Syria Strike

“The premise that oil supplies would be threatened by what will probably be a limited attack by cruise missiles on Syria, a country that’s not an oil exporter or conduit, is specious,” said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group Inc., an energy advisory company in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “The Syrians have very limited capabilities and the Iranians have no interest in reducing shipments because they need the currency.”

Gasoline Falls as Crude Slips While Summer Fuel Demand Wanes

Gasoline fell as crude declined after British lawmakers refused to join the U.S. in a military strike against Syria and as the end of the U.S. summer driving season approaches.

Futures sank as much as 1.2 percent as the U.S. lost the support of Britain yesterday in acting against Syria and its suspected use of chemical weapons, lessening concern of an imminent strike that might embroil the Middle East and disrupt oil supplies. U.S. gasoline demand dipped to a five-week low in the seven days ended Aug. 23 and in June was the lowest for that month since 2001, government data show.

Gulf Coast Ship Rate Nears 4-Week High as Exports Surge

Charter rates for tankers from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe surged to the highest level in almost four weeks as a boost in exports from the Gulf Coast reduced the number of available tankers.

FGE: US gas price sensitive to LNG exports

The future price of natural gas in the US depends greatly on development of LNG exports, the outlook for which remains unclear, says Facts Global Energy (FGE).

No Atlantic Hurricane by August in First Time in 11 Years

August is about to end without an Atlantic hurricane for the first time since 2002, calling into question predictions of a more active storm season than normal.

Required reading: The end of oil

Higher oil prices reverberate around the world, pushing up the price of petrol, affecting food prices and weakening economic growth. But some experts say that current high prices reflect a deeper, more worrying reality: the world is running out of oil. Are we really at “peak oil”? And how can we prepare for a post-oil future?

The Current Oil Scare Is A False Information Scare

The scuttlebutt (talk around the water cooler) says that an impending war with Syria will endanger the world's oil supply. Many people are assuming that this is because Syria's oil will go offline to the rest of the world. This is a mistaken impression. Syria's oil production is only estimated at about 50,000 bopd. All of this is refined domestically. It is true that prior to sanctions it produced about 370,000 bopd (about 0.4% of the world's oil supply). However, the sanctions have been in place for some time (since 2011 - 2012). Plus Syria only exported 150,000 bopd before the sanctions. In other words Syria is not now supplying the outside world with any oil; and it has not been for a year or more. In fact Syria is a net importer of oil products. A war in Syria by itself would have NO IMPACT on the world's oil supplies.

'Acidizing' could rival hydraulic fracturing in oil exploration

Fracking hasn’t unleashed an oil production boom in California, at least not yet.

Could acid?

Companies trying to pry oil from a vast shale formation beneath Central California have been pumping powerful acids underground to dissolve the rock and free the petroleum within.

And there are hints that the process, known as “acidizing” a well, may work better than hydraulic fracturing in California’s Monterey Shale, estimated to hold 15.4 billion barrels of oil.

First Take: Obama's decision a risky precedent?

Defying expectations that a U.S. military strike was imminent, Obama stunned nearly everyone by announcing that, while he had decided that the United States should take action to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against its own people, he would seek congressional authorization before moving forward.

Could Syria strike back if United States, allies, attack?

(CNN) -- As the United States and its allies debate military intervention in Syria, the nation's president, Bashar al-Assad, has warned that Syria will "defend itself against any aggression."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi struck a similar note Saturday, saying the Syrian Army "is on maximum readiness and fingers are on the trigger to confront all challenges."

China partners with U.S. oil firm in Egypt

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - China's Sinopec and Houston-based Apache announced a long-term partnership Thursday, continuing a trend of U.S. firms selling foreign assets to focus on the domestic oil boom.

Iraq Aug oil exports rise to average 2.579 mln bpd

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's oil exports rose to an average of 2.579 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, the oil ministry said on Sunday, due to increased shipments from southern oil fields which have helped it move closer to a year-end target.

Exports were higher than in July when Iraq exported 2.324 million bpd on average. OPEC's second-largest producer wants to export 2.9 million bpd per day by the end of the year.

Dubai's ENOC loses deal to fuel U.S. military jets

DUBAI (Reuters) - The U.S. military has not renewed its contract to buy jet fuel from Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because other suppliers made cheaper bids, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Mexico march

Thousands have marched in Mexico City, protesting over the proposed reform of state oil company Pemex.

India could save $8.5b by buying extra Iranian oil, says minister

NEW DELHI: India could save $8.5 billion in foreign exchange spending on crude oil imports in 2013/14 if it relied more on supplies from Iran, which is able to accept payment in rupees, India’s Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily said.

Iran oil minister orders energy contract overhaul - Shana

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's new oil minister has ordered the revision of energy project contracts to make them more attractive to foreign investors, a National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) executive told oil ministry news service Shana.

Iran's long insistence on paying contractors with oil made projects unattractive to foreign investors long before Western sanctions made it almost impossible to work in the isolated Islamic republic.

Iran Puts West in Check With Oman Gas Deal

The Iranian government announced this week it secured a long-term natural gas agreement with its maritime neighbors in Oman. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to lead the country as a moderate when he was sworn in to office in early August. The Iranian Oil Ministry vowed to move the country’s oil and natural gas industries closer to the international community and the gas deal with Oman was touted as a breakthrough in a deal first discussed in 2007. Officials there vowed to move quickly on infrastructure developments. Either Iran is trying to show it’s serious about engagement or its just window dressing as usual for the Islamic republic.

Electricity Utilities Must Evolve or Die: Are They Up to the Task?

It’s a tough time to be an electricity utility in Europe. A confluence of factors, including the rising use of renewable energy, falling wholesale market prices, and the growth of distributed generation and energy efficiency are eroding traditional utility market shares and sending profits into free fall.

While European energy policy priorities have exacerbated several of these factors, current trends in Europe may simply preface broader revolutionary forces under way across much of the global electric power sector.

South Africa's Sasol helps Louisiana to lead America's gas-to-liquid race

Sasol, an energy and chemicals giant based in Johannesburg, plans to spend up to US$14 billion to build the first commercial plant in the United States that will turn natural gas into liquid fuels.

Facing Fire Over Challenge to Louisiana’s Oil Industry

For the generations since Mr. Long’s third cousin Huey P. Long was the governor, this state has relied on the oil and gas industry for a considerable part of its revenues and for tens of thousands of jobs. In return, the industry has largely found the state an obliging partner and staunch political ally as it has fought off curbs on its business.

Now, however, a panel of state appointees, created after Hurricane Katrina to be largely insulated from politics, showed just how insulated it was by upending the agreement.

Toll in Vizag refinery blast climbs to 23

Hyderabad (IANS) The toll in Aug 23 blast at the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) refinery in Visakhapatnam rose to 23 with four more injured succumbing to burns at various hospitals Sunday.

Why Fukushima is worse than you think

While the amount of radioactivity released into the environment in March 2011 has been estimated as between 10 percent and 50 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl accident, the 400,000 tons of contaminated water stored on the Fukushima site contain more than 2.5 times the amount of radioactive cesium dispersed during the 1986 catastrophe in Ukraine.

So, where has this huge amount of highly contaminated water – enough to fill 160 Olympic-size swimming pools – come from? In the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the reactor cores of units 1, 2 and 3 melted through the reactor vessels into the concrete. Nobody knows how far the molten fuel went through the containment – radiation levels in the reactor buildings are lethal, while robots got stuck in the rubble and some never came back out.

Fukushima radiation levels spike, company says

(CNN) -- There's been a sharp spike in radiation levels measured in the pipes and containers holding water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan.

But the company in charge of cleaning it up says that only a single drop of the highly contaminated water escaped the holding tanks.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said it is confident it can provide safety for workers dealing with the problem.

Tepco reports leaking pipe, four hot spots

Tokyo Electric Power Co., manager of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, said Sunday it halted a highly radioactive water leak from a pipe connecting two storage tanks by patching it with tape just a day after stumbling upon a lethal radioactive hot spot.

Chubu Electric eyes April rate hike

NAGOYA – Chubu Electric Power Co. is considering raising household electricity rates 5 to 8 percent next April to offset losses caused by the shutdown of its Hamaoka nuclear plant, sources said Saturday.

A manhattan project for solar energy?

Naples Daily News guest commentator Hy Bershad recently wrote, “One hour of sunshine over the entire state of Florida contains enough energy to provide power to the entire state for one full year.” Columnist Ben Bova added, “Our planet Earth receives more energy from the sun in one hour than the entire human race consumes in a whole year.”

The challenge, of course, is to harness it economically. And it’s a big challenge.

Futurists David King and Richard Layard think we should take the challenge seriously. Writing in the Financial Times, they propose a massive international project “to enable bulk electricity to be produced more cheaply by solar power than by any fossil fuel.”

Fighting Pest, Farmers Find Strange Ally: A Drought

Texas’ drought has left crops parched across the state, but the lack of water could have unintended benefits, in the killing-off of boll weevils, for South Texas farmers.

Frontiers launches a new open-access journal in Energy Research

Frontiers, one of the largest and fastest-growing open-access scholarly publishers, now part of the Nature Publishing Group family, has launched its Frontiers in Energy Research journal today. In Frontiers in Energy Research, scientists from around the world can join together to examine how new energy systems can be integrated in the economic and social fabric of our world.

Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions

HONG KONG — Jiang Kejun may be one of the few Beijing residents who see a ray of hope in the smog engulfing the city. A researcher in a state energy institute, he is an outspoken advocate of swiftly cutting China’s greenhouse gas output, and he says public anger about noxious air has jolted the government, which long dismissed pollution as the necessary price of prosperity.

Why Hasn't the Free Market Solved Climate Change?

One of the great mysteries of contemporary capitalism is the fact that as a system it appears absolutely incapable of responding to the crisis of climate change. Why can’t a system that made the automobile into an accessible mass consumer good provide us with clean and efficient mass transit, or at the very least electric cars? Why are we still burning coal, the energy source that drove the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago? Where are all the new green enterprises leading the way into a low-carbon future?

The oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years. How worried should we be?

The world’s oceans are turning acidic at what’s likely the fastest pace in 300 million years. Scientists tend to think this is a troubling development. But just how worried should we be, exactly?

A case for cap and trade

Fortunately, there is a bipartisan way forward.

The model for RGGI was actually the national program started in the first Bush administration. It was aimed at achieving an environmental goal — cutting emissions of sulfur dioxide, a component of acid rain — through the power of the market rather than the regulatory hand of government. Yes, the government set caps on emissions, but then created a system that allowed companies to buy and sell pollution credits. They could choose whether to pollute, up to a point, or to reduce their emissions and sell their credits to make money. As the emission limits fell, the credits became more and more valuable, making investment in cleaner technology more attractive.

A Carbon Tax That America Could Live With

Among economists, the issue is largely a no-brainer. In December 2011, the IGM Forum asked a panel of 41 prominent economists about this statement: “A tax on the carbon content of fuels would be a less expensive way to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions than would a collection of policies such as ‘corporate average fuel economy’ requirements for automobiles.” Ninety percent of the panelists agreed.

Could such an overwhelming consensus of economists be wrong? Well, actually, yes. But in this case, I am confident that the economics profession has it right. The hard part is persuading the public and the politicians.

'We are fighting for survival,' Pacific islands leader warns

Pacific islanders will challenge world leaders this week to act on climate change, warning that their low-lying atolls are close to becoming uninhabitable because of rising seas and increasingly severe floods, droughts and storm surges.

"The Pacific is fighting for its survival. Climate change has already arrived," said Christopher Loeak, president of the Marshall Islands, which will host the Pacific islands' annual summit, attended by most of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, including the US, China and the EU.

Banks Put a Price on Earth's Life Support

LONDON – It is not easy to put a value on an intact forest, a clean river, or unpolluted air, but that is what a group of the world's biggest banks is attempting to do.

They have agreed that the present economic system uses and often destroys the environment without paying to do so. And that, they say, is not sustainable.

Reminder: There will be one last Drumbeat posted sometime in the next week. It will include links to other peak oil-related forums and blogs. If you would like yours included, send me the link in an e-mail. Or post it yourself in the comments, once the post goes live.

Thank you! Leanan. We will do our best to build on the high-quality discussions that have transpired on Drumbeat. For anyone who may have missed it:

An interim version of The Energy Xchange, hosted by ASPO-USA, is now live at energy-x.org.

Pipeline is our news and discussion forum. Compilations of news articles will be posted approximately three times a week. Submission of other types of content are also welcome at info@aspousa.org.

Please stay tuned for the launch of the full site later this fall.

And thank you JLM. Hope to see everyone shifting over to TEX. I will as well be checking in at Darwinian's site as well as some of the others that have been listed here over the past week or so. But to continue the community that has developed here, we need critical mass at one place, and TEX seems to be it.

#1. I managed to register at www.energy-x.org My attempt to leave a donation was unsuccessful.
#2 Is ASPO-USA planning to host a meeting in 2014? I have enjoyed previous meetings in Houston CA, Washington DC, and Sacramento CA.

Thank you Robert. If you would like to make a donation, please go to the main ASPO-USA website, peak-oil.org (aspousa.org will also get you there). Click on "Donate" button or "Become a Member" in the upper right corner.

Regarding the ASPO-USA conference, we are revising our approach and exploring ways to collaborate with partner organizations and expand our audience. Hence, future conferences may look a little different but we do plan to host one or more event in 2014.

Not sure exactly when this site goes dark, but thanks for the efforts over the past 7 years, particularly the drumbeats. I'm sure when some news registers with me, I'll register with a site. Maybe they will finally admit Ghawar is in decline....

Now, however, is a time mainly for preparation and positioning.

"Now, however, is a time mainly for preparation and positioning."

Keep our eye on the ball, hoping it doesn't bounce too much.

I'm spending the day canning; more tomato juice and some really good Brunswick stew my wife made way too much of, from slow smoked local Boston butts ("pork hand and spring" for my UK friends). Twelve pints in the canner right now - trying out a new, smaller pressure canner I picked up; seems to heat up much quicker and need less flame to maintain pressure. Going to do chicken soup next, apple sauce and apple pie filling tomorrow. May as well prep with gusto.

I'm planning to turn my old 16 quart canner into a kitchen still, for future medicinal use of course. Helps keep my mind off of our collective reality. Cheers!

Friedrich Nietzsche - "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.""

Great quote!

I managed to register. However now when I try to login I get a "You are not authorized..." message. Seems like there may be a few bugs to be worked out there. I will keep trying.

In any case it is sad that TOD is shutting down. This has been a good site for intelligent discussion. Hopefully enough refugees from TOD will migrate to energy-x.org to continue the dialog.

Regarding the upcoming debate and vote in the US Congress regarding military action against Syria, it should be a very interesting debate, and I suspect it will be a close vote.

I wonder if Cameron might be secretly relieved that he lost the vote in Parliament, and I wonder if Obama might be seeking a similar out regarding military action.

In any case, I think that it's probably a smart move for Obama to ask for congressional approval.

If they say no, he (Obama) can say his hands are tied.

If they say yes, and it goes well, he can take credit.

If they say yes, and it goes badly, he can say that he got approval from congress.

I think that he was getting increasingly concerned about it going badly, without congressional approval.

And note that Obama's decision to ask for congressional approval followed Putin's categorical rejection of US claims about chemical weapon use by the Syrian government, an ally of Russia, as Putin called US claims "Utter nonsense."

It was 99 years ago that Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia*, an ally of Russia, with ultimately disastrous consequences.

*Following of course the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian

I think that he was getting increasingly concerned about it going badly, without congressional approval.

I agree, Congress did him a huge favor by demanding they be involved in the decision making process, as it relieves responsibility if something goes wrong and just maybe Obama will get let off the hook in a very troubling situation by Congress playing partisan politics and nixing it.

Obama will then come out looking clean as a whistle as he can rightfully claim he tried under the umbrella of the democratic process to punish the Assaud regime for use of WMD and reduce the chances of a similar incident occurring.

The situation though is wrought with danger as already 110k people have been killed, a million children displaced, and Russia keeps towing the Assaud line. It's a humanitarian disaster in which most of the major powers are standing by in silence due mostly to fear of Putin (who in my opinion is crazy, and capable of anything). I think the UK opted out in part due to the NG they receive from Russia, not wanting to get cut off.

It's a conundrum as to how to handle this situation, similar to events leading as you mention to WWI. With high oil prices causing developed economies to be under such high tension, the Syrian situation is a potential harbinger of lines crossing. My hope in this case is for partisan politics. Already believe it or not McCain (and Lindsey Graham) will not vote for missile strikes, claiming it's not enough. Now that's partisan politics.

Something to ponder about Russia.

From 2007 to 2012, Russian liquids consumption increased at 3.3%/year (EIA). Because of rising consumption, their net exports have been flat to down for five years, despite a 1.0%/year increase in production since 2007.

2007 and 2012 annual net exports were 7.2 mbpd, with lower values in intervening years. However, their ECI ratio* fell from 3.66 in 2007 to 3.25 in 2012. An extrapolation of this rate of decline in the ECI ratio suggests that Russia may have already shipped about one-fifth of their post-2007 CNE (Cumulative Net Exports), an estimated post-2007 CNE depletion rate of more than 4%/year.

So, Russia may be very interested in maintaining their alliances in the Middle East, from a long term point of view.

*Ratio of total petroleum liquids production + other liquids production to liquids consumption (EIA)

I’m sure that’s true wt, however there is this article below from Aug. 27th about an offer from the Saudi’s to Russia to abandon Assaud.


‘Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria’

Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria.

Prince Bandar, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria. “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets,” he said at the four-hour meeting with Mr Putin. They met at Mr Putin’s dacha outside Moscow three weeks ago.

Agree to the price and production quantities? That sent shivers up my spine as the two of them together with potentially all the other OPEC members could restrict volume to set a predetermined price that surely will not be less than it is now, and probably get much higher as they begin to squeeze down production to keep their flow going as long as possible. What do you make of this possible collusion?

There does not seem to be much doubt about Saudi Arabia's position on Syria, but a reported offer does not constitute an agreement, and Putin's statements regarding possible US military action against Syria have been quite forceful.

WSJ: Saudis Urge Action on Syria
Saudi Arabia on Sunday urged the world to stop Syria's government from attacks on its people but didn't explicitly endorse a Western-led strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"We call upon the international community with all its powers to stop this aggression against the Syrian people," the country's foreign minister, Prince Saud al Faisal, told reporters in Cairo, where Arab foreign ministers are to meet later Sunday on the Syrian crisis. . . .

Saudi Arabia for more than a year has been the loudest advocate internationally of action against Mr. Assad's regime. Still, Saudi Arabia hasn't publicly supported President Barack Obama's proposed U.S.-led air campaign in response to the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21. No Arab government has done so either, in a region historically reluctant to call for attacks on fellow Arab nations.

Putin's statements regarding possible US military action against Syria have been quite forceful.

Would be unfortunate if the apocalypse managed to shut down TOD before comments are finally closed...

Ah, Putin is just enjoying the moment, watching Obama do the twist. Kunstler, this morning:

After the British parliament put the kibosh on following the American punishment brigade to Syria, and then NATO, and the UN wrinkled their noses at the project, well, that pretty much left President Obama to twist slowly, slowly in the wind — washed, rinsed, and hung out to dry. It looks like a watershed moment in the USA’s increasingly klutzy career as the world’s hall monitor. International power relations are suddenly in flux. A phase change has occurred causing all that was solid a few days ago to melt into liquid...

...The opposition to the US, and its client / partner Saudi Arabia, the story goes, would replace the dollar with gold-backed oil trade and a logistical work-around based on a growing pipeline system from Iran and beyond, in Asia, to desperate customers in Europe. The implications are a collapse of the dollar (and the US bond market), a wedge between European and American interests, and a dominant partnership of oil-and-gas rich Russia with China — that is, a major power shift from west-to-east.

When it comes to helping the other guy's empire self-destruct, turnabout is fair play, eh?

Well Russia would probably like oil prices to be high considering they are an oil exporter. Saudi Arabia obviously also has the same goal as an oil exporter. So what is the real leverage there?

OK, I guess SA could threaten to boost production and thus drive down prices . . . but that requires believing that SA is capable of really doing so and would want to do this. I don't think that comes off as a credible threat.

Written by Peak Earl:
What do you make of this possible collusion?

Unlikely. In the past Russia has rejected Saudi's attempts to get them to collude as swing producers. Russia rejected the offer to join OPEC. Russia has no interest in being a swing producer when Saudi Arabia does a fine job.

Saudi Arabia sounds desperate. They have no significant oil fields to develop after Manifa which should have come online last month. It looks like Saudi production will begin declining in 2015. By 2020 Saudi Arabia might lose its status as a swing producer. The deal they offer Russia is an attempt to force Russia to join them as a swing producer thereby extending Saudi power in the oil world.

Russia would be wise to avoid a commitment allowing Saudi Arabia to die on its own.

I think the UK opted out in part due to the NG they receive from Russia, not wanting to get cut off.

At the moment UK does not import NG from Russia, but indirectly could increasingly rely on Russian NG inputs into the EU grid over the next decade and more. Germany relies more on Russian imports just now and showed no sign of joining in the war in Syria, but importantly in any case popular opinion there was heavily against war. In the UK there was a 2 thirds majority against war. Also in the UK there was outspoken criticism of the projected attack from recently retired senior military personnel. The potential for unfavourable outcomes across the region has emerged as a parliamentary opinion.

It is strange to think this is probably my last comment on Drumbeat. Thanks folks! I will follow some of you, WT et al on other venues.

Not directly related to this discussion, but highly relevant, and to me, scary as hell; or course this may be only because I believe in history, and in the rise and fall of empires, rather than pc platitudes about peace and brotherly love- there us a piece by rock man called locking oil up over at darwrinian's blog.

If it doesn't give pause to anybody who reads it, I'm afraid he has no sense of history and no appreciation of geopolitics.

West & Perk: I wondered precisely the same thing. Obama secretly grateful to Congress, Cameron secretly grateful to Parliament, etc.

I'm hardly a student of middle-east politics, but it seems to me that Syria has got "trap" written all over it. I think it's very interesting that the rebels seem to be preemptively critical of any military response, as if they are already expecting it to be insufficiently harsh. It's lose-lose-lose, where no response, limited response, and severe response will wind up infuriating almost everyone.

This feels like some kind of unconscious conspiracy, where short-term conflicts may conceal a broader end-game, which may be, as usual, simply to inflame the middle east against the west.

Here's something else to throw into the pot while we try to understand the true nature of what's happening in Syria. And it contains yet another take on the pipeline theory.

The war on Iran begins…in Syria

...As Tehran has been increasingly frozen out of world energy markets due to US and European sanctions that make it difficult if not impossible to settle international debts with the Islamic Republic, it has been forced to find alternative methods and infrastructure to sell its oil and gas and maintain its fragile economy.

A centerpiece of this strategy is the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline deal signed last month. Intended to provide Iran with a new delivery route to the Mediterranean coast, giving it renewed access to the Eurasian landmass and markets, the pipeline is obviously a blow to US-Israeli attempts to strangle the regime in Iran economically. Syria, being the critical linchpin in this deal, figures significantly in the Iranian strategy to survive the sanctions, thereby necessitating Iranian involvement in the conflict if only to provide the critical support Assad needs to maintain control of the security of the country...

And more on pipelines in a very good article by Nafeez Ahmed.

Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern

...According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009: "I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business", he told French television:

"I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria."...

...These strategic concerns, motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics. In 2009 - the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria - Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter's North field, contiguous with Iran's South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets - albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad's rationale was "to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe's top supplier of natural gas."

Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 - just as Syria's civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines...

There is one more aspect to the decision that you didn't mention Jeff.

There is a lot of talk around that it was the CIA that was helping the rebels to get the rebellion going. If congress says no,and since the CIA director serves at the behest of the president, so much for rumors.

As it has been said by several; This is going to be very interesting.

House Speaker John Boehner: 'I'm Going to Support the President's Call for Action' in Syria


On Tuesday, Sweden announced it would become the first European country to grant asylum to all Syrian refugees who apply. They will get permanent resident status.

Sweden has taken in 14,700 asylum seekers from Syria since 2012.

The UN says this is the worst refugee crisis for 20 years, with numbers not seen since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.


Poor Sweden - they mean well, but they don't know what they're getting themselves into. Those people are not remotely going to have the same values that they do - incompatible - and it will cause them trouble.

The spectacle will be interesting, but in the end I doubt it will be too surprising. I don't think people appreciate that the options available to the existing system are limited. Looking at it as if this is a choice the empire can make, and there are other things that could be done instead is a fallacy. It is only a choice in the sense that an empire could choose to end, but that is highly unlikely and would only happen in the most unusual of circumstances. It's more of a tragedy where everyone must play their roles.

Maybe, hopefully, during the pending debate somebody in congress who has a clue will let Boehner and his ilk know that, contrary to popular opinion, the US still imports about half of the crude oil supplied to US refineries. It could then be pointed out what amounts are imported from which countries, which countries are capable of making up for any shortfalls due to new conflicts (none?), how long the SPR would last if X barrels per day were drawn down to make up for the shortfall etc. etc. In other words how disruptive this action could end up for the day to day lives of their coddled constituents. Where's Roscoe Bartlett when you need him?

Of course they could just go ahead and vote for the attack and let the chips fall where they may. This could be very interesting as it has the potential to blow the cover off the "Peak Oil is Dead" meme.

Alan from the islands

I just wanted to say thank you for your tireless efforts and a job well done posting Drumbeat. It has been a few years since I last commented on this site but I have visited every week and learned much. My best wishes to everyone in future endeavors. Special thanks to all the contributors as well for making this site what it is and was.

Warmest Regards,

As TOD fades into the deep recesses of an old server hard drive and Drumbeats become nothing more than magnetic blips on a disk, today we find yet another reminder that the reality of fossil fuel use and it's impacts on humanity continue as before.

Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions

A Carbon Tax That America Could Live With

Banks Put a Price on Earth's Life Support

Why Hasn't the Free Market Solved Climate Change?

The first report about China suggests that they might limit their emissions of CO2 by 2025, but only if the plan outlined is followed. The fact is, China would continue to increase their emissions up to that time and then slowly reduce those emissions. By then, the impacts of their emissions and all those of the rest of humanity will be baked into the cake after which it won't make much difference what's done.

The commentary about putting a price on "natural capital" doesn't say much about stopping the use and abuse of that natural capital, nor does it provide a mechanism to prevent "unsustainable" use of all that natural capital, something which won't happen without a world governance body to enforce rules. Good luck with that one.

That last commentary again points out that the basis of our problem is that our economic system is structurally flawed in that the economic game is all about making a profit, no matter who gets hurt in the long run. All the World's economies are hooked on profit making and there's little motivation toward doing things that don't provide an obvious benefit in the short term. As Keynes pointed out, in the long run, we are all dead...

E. Swanson

"Why Hasn't the Free Market Solved Climate Change?" google externalities

All the World's economies are hooked on profit making and there's little motivation toward doing things that don't provide an obvious benefit in the short term.

That's it in a nutshell. That's why fur seals and whales were hunted close to extinction. Why the Bluefin tuna is being hunted close to extinction. Why a finite resource like oil flows as fast as the economy can burn it at today's price. Why boom and bust gold and silver towns came and went. It's the mentality of get it while the going is good. I think people are wired to go berzerk in the presence of a resource that will enrich them exerting every ounce of effort available to get that stuff as fast as possible.

We operate as if there is phantom capacity (as William Canton put it) with no long term plan. It would appear we are unable to pace ourselves.

I don't think you can overstate the significance of that. This is who we are, and no question about the direction we are headed. It's not just human nature, it's nature in general. The reindeer on that island did exactly the same thing, Easter Island is another example. If there is any cause for optimism it is that the reindeer did survive as a species on the Island, as did the Easter Islanders. We have innovated around some of the softer limits, exactly where the hard limits are is debateable, the fact that they exist is not.

Meanwhile, TEPCO tries to prove that duct tape actually can fix anything. Our response to our collective predicaments is quite hilarious, if one gets in touch with one's inner sociopath, like those who would put a price on priceless natural systems.

Maybe co2 sticks to duct tape :-0

Maybe co2 sticks to duct tape :-0

Well, if we have a helluva long duct tape, while waving it vigorously, and helluva lot of CO2, then for sure, some infinitesimal amount of CO2 -COULD- theoretically get trapped on da poor tape... :-S Not that it would help us or anything... :-/

Anyways, I actually didn't want to argue about warming stuff sticking to the sticky stuff, but rather express my thanks to you, Ghung, and also to Black_Dog, westexas (and many others) I -really- love to read. I will miss you guys. :( Till we meet again somewhere else, of course! :))

But, I would like to ask you a very personal question, Ghung, if you allow me to. O:-)
Sadly, the timeout to say NO has already expired, so here it comes:
I often see you using this " :-0 " smiley and I'd like to know (or else I won't fall asleep tonight!!!! :D) what's the meaning of it? In my neck of the woods it means something like bewilderment, wondering, amazement. Or shock, in extreme. Sooooo, what do -you- mean by that smiley? I know, probably silly question, but... it's The End Of The TOD (= TEOTTOD (I know, not as flashy as TEOTWAWKI)), so I don't need to worry about losing my reputation, or something... :D But really, I would really like to know. ;)

And also, I would like to thank Leanan for everything she did for us, for all those wonderful and informative Drumbeats that kept us addicted to this amazing website. Nothing like the smell of little doom in the morning, opening the new Drumbeat I was desperately waiting for, eh? ;)

Take care you all and hopefully see you soon, somewhere else. :)

Thanks, ramen. You pretty much nailed it: :-0 expresses bewilderment, wonder, amazement, in general bewilderment as to how we, collectively, get ourselves into such predicaments, and, in this case, how could TEPCO have gotten to the point of dealing with the aftermath of multiple reactor meltdowns by repairing leaks with plastic tape; don't know weather to laugh or cry.

I suppose I got it from my mother who normally had a quite engaged and confident look, but would invariably get this expression when I returned from a great day in the woods, scratched, bleeding, and covered in mud, asking if the (live) snake I brought home was really poisonous, and if I could keep it for a pet. Gosh, Mom, what could go wrong?

I still remember the way my blood coagulated in the bathtub when she was trying to decide if I needed stitches, again. She would have That Look, probably wondering what she did to deserve this.. At least she never sneered at me.

Thanks for your reply, Ghung. I really appreciate it. :) Good to know that you use the smiley "as I have foreseen it". *insert heavy Darth Vader breathing here*

I suppose I got it from my mother who normally had a quite engaged and confident look, but would invariably get this expression when I returned from a great day in the woods, scratched, bleeding, and covered in mud, asking if the (live) snake I brought home was really poisonous, and if I could keep it for a pet. Gosh, Mom, what could go wrong?

Aaaaaw, heck... That reminds me of myself some loooooong time ago. Although I wasn't THAT brave to bring home a snake, but mainly because they aren't very frequent here. :-S and most of what we've got are non-poisonous ones. But I did bring home a hedgehog, lizard and chick (non-human one :P, I'd like to add), but I was also denied the excitement of keeping them as a pet. :(((( Aaaargh, those moms!!!! As if they all had studied at the same "University For Moms", how to handle their "too-curious-for-their-own-good" sons. :-/ So, I really do understand what you mean, Ghung. ;)

But mainly.... True, while facing all my endeavours, my mom's expression could be best described by the smiley: :-0


It sticks to duct tape? Wow, why didn't I think of that! Now, what's the scalability of duct tape?

Put a price on priceless natural systems? Right on. The price is infinite. Now, good capitalists all, let's just sit back and let market forces do the rest.

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines of poetry:

"Would you pay for what you are with all there is?"

First, thanks to all -- editors, contributors and readers -- for this forum, and good luck to all.
On TEPCo, I'm looking forward to seeing how that ice dam works out. It's right up there with BP's "junk shot" attempt to stem the Macondo blowout with golf balls.
Once all that groundwater backs up under the plant site, it will be interesting to see the liquifaction effects when the next quake hits, which should also do a number on all those loaded, bolted-together tanks.
Too bad that Moe, Larry and Curly are no longer around. They'd do a better job than the co-conspirators TEPCo and the Japanese government.

Sadly I suspect TEPCO intentionally used cheap, leaky tanks because they want them to leak allowing free disposal of their radioactive mess in the Pacific Ocean.

For inspiration - NEVER give up!

Watch the video.


I said to him, “Nonsense!!!”. I told him how proud I was of him that he never game up, despite the horrific crap he’s been through, and that he wasn’t going to start now. I reminded him of the old Japanese proverb that I have beat into his head many years hence; “Nana korobi ya oki” — fall down seven times, get up eight.

That’s not necessarily about “winning”. It’s about remembering that when times are dark, there IS a way out. That there are no quick fixes in life. That anything of real worth will likely take much struggle, and perseverance. Success does not have to be fast. It’s more important that he continues to do his absolute best and remain persistent. I encouraged him to reach down deep within himself — which is the best source of motivation — gather strength for one more battle, and say ‘go to hell’ to whatever voices try to keep him down.


You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.
I think the whole never give up, and you will succeed is just a mythical narrative, found in most movies. There are far more examples of repeated failures. Rossi and his E-cat or whatever it is called now is an example of a guy who is persistent, but can never succeed no matter how hard he tries. Being optimistic is human nature, being realistic takes a conscious effort.

Sad that this will be one of my final questions :(

you guys have been amazing at helping me understand, heartfelt thanks!

in relation to natural gas, Mcf is "thousand cubic feet" is it not? Not million cubic feet?

Why use the 'm' then? Confusing!

It's from the Latin. 'Mille' is a thousand. What we (in the US) call 'a million' is a thousand thousand.

It's the same thing in Forestry - 'MBF' means 'thousand board feet'. A millimeter is 1/1000 of a meter. A millenium is a thousand years.

Hello and farewell all. I have been a lurker almost from the beginning, and have had an account for over 5 years without posting much. I want to thank all associated with TOD for the work that has gone into it, especially Leanan. Since reading the ELP post by Westexas I have taken it to heart and accomplished the first two parts. I'm still working on relearning the gardening/farming skills of my ancestors. This site has been more important to my life than can be expressed. And I want to thank all those who've commented over the years for all the things I've learned. Let me express a few less positive things as well. I'm likely one of the few people here that has ever successfully run an election. And having met federal, state and local officials, I'm not optimistic that we will meet the challenges we face. Of course I also live in a place most would regard as the political back of beyond as Horace Kephart termed it.
The old Greek who said that one never takes two steps in the same river was right. I've lived long enough to lose family and good friends. But I firmly believe that all of us here have an obligation to carry on. I've had the good fortune to have children and a fiancé that listen to me about resource exhaustion and peak oil. In the final analysis we have to rely on the people we are related to, those we know. I am not a doomer in the fullest sense. But I see a highly complex world that is vulnerable to some unexpected event. And complexity is the enemy of the survival of any plan.

The current headlining online NYT article

"Obama’s Decision to Seek Approval First Lengthens Suspense of Attack"
By ANNE BARNARD and HALA DROUBI [Published: August 31, 2013] is a must read. It has about as enlightening a roundup of short quotes as I can recall seeing about anything.

This one cracked my up for an and instant anyway. We all do what best we can to cope when the world around us has spun out of control.

For another Homs resident, Abu Bassam, 31, the only possible response was black humor.

“Man, I wish Bush was the president,” he said. “He would have reacted right away. He may have invaded Cyprus or Jordan instead of Syria by mistake, but you know he would have done something at least.”

A fond farewell to TOD and especially the Drumbeat. I will miss the news feeds. It does look like the ASPO site will serve, but without Leanan at the helm hard to say how good it will be.

As a parting comment I would like to alert readers to a post I just made at Question Everything, What Might the Dynamics of Net Energy Per Capita Look Like? This is a quick-and-dirty theoretical model of how the intersection of rising population and declining EROI of fossil fuels is affecting how many energy slaves each of us really has at our disposal, and how that number has been declining, probably since the 1970s.

Over the years I have tried, along with a few other commentators here, to stress that the real connection between the global economy (its poor performance) and energy is through Net Energy per Capita (NEPC) from all sources. Peak oil has aggravated the problem of a decline in NEPC, of course, which is why we all pay attention to the phenomenon. But the causal link comes through the declining EROI which drives the total net energy derived from oil down. In turn that impacts other energy sources through costs because of the reliance on oil derivatives to fuel civilization. And when you divide that by the number of people demanding energy slaves over time, you can see a much more dramatic effect than you might have imagined.

Perhaps the reason the peak oil story has become tiresome for many is that we need to see the dynamics of how energy affects every one of us directly. I hope others who migrate to other energy sites will attempt to beat on this drum and maybe we can start a movement to dig into the data deeper.

Thanks again TOD staff, and all of you intelligent commentators.


Perhaps the reason the peak oil story has become tiresome for many is that we need to see the dynamics of how energy affects every one of us directly.

I agree George. High EROEI is everything. High yield FF's allowed us to grow populations out of control and build supporting infrastructure to support it. Dissonance is pervasive and unsolvable.

The infrastructure built and maintained by FF's has allowed claims of 50:1 return for wind and that electric cars and trains are the way forward with oil free transport.

Now with the end of growth, look for even more corporation and company takeovers and mergers, significant reductions or elimination of R&D technology and reductions in employee numbers, all in the name of increasing or maintaining market share.

Technological development was easy when growth allowed for trial and error and even outright waste when profits were a given.

Thanks George. To manage expectations, we may not have the initial staff resources to replicate the quality and level of effort that Leanan put into the Drumbeat. However, with a bit more time, we hope to get close. Leanan has kindly shared some tips and we hope to have the benefit of her experience as we move forward.

The key to making this new endeavor fly is teamwork. We have an initial system for collecting news articles which we will refine and improve as we go. Seraph and others have offered to help. In general, if you send something to us (info@aspousa.org) by 9:00 am Eastern time on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, it will make it into that day's Pipeline. That info is not on the website, but it will be. Thanks, Jan

Hello George,

Net Power per Capita ?

The Egyptians built the pyramids. It just took a long time. They had the energy. The same could be done today in a couple of weeks with a modest amount of FF powered heavy equipment.

Power is important. A human being dissipates something like 100 watts. That means 2.4 Kw-Hr of energy per day. Less food "power" and one starves.

Net energy is necessary but not sufficient.



True JP. But consider the area under the curves in the graph.


My two cents as to, "What Might the Dynamics of Net Energy Per Capita Look Like?"

Illegal electricity connections used to power entire lane

The JPS says in a nearby community off St John's Road, its crews discovered that stolen electricity was being used to supply power to the houses on an entire lane.

According to the JPS, the illegal connections ran from Colt's Road, went across an open land, up a privately erected pole and then went to roughly 15 households on a lane off Fairfield Road.

The company has expressed deep concern about the running of the wire across the open land saying it presented serious risks to persons travelling in the area.
The JPS is appealing to persons to desist from stealing electricity and instead to regularise their supply.

The folks living on that lane are probably a good example of the invisible people living on the periphery. In this case the utility company is failing to acknowledge that many of the people who it is appealing to, to stop stealing electricity, simply do not have the means to pay for what could be considered normal electricity use and then meet their other living expenses as well. A growing number of people who cannot afford to pay for their energy slaves, one might say.

Alan from the islands

Electricity theft is rife in some South African townships. In places it is hazardous to walk because of all the wires. Short circuits cause frequent fires. In some places gangs control the electricity supply and residents have to pay them for electricity whether they want it or not. Officials trying to prevent theft and bring wiring up to code have to go in under armed guard.

Hi George,
I want to say thank you for the conversations we have had here, and for all that I have learned from you.

Now as rewgards EROEI, I have argued here that it does not matter, for now, or for the foreseeable future( meaning the next decade or two) if there is a poor return on the ff we are using to establish the renewables industries- fior the simple reason that we have no way of saving these depleting fuels anyway. It is far better to use them at any ERORI ratio, than too waste them outright fetching beer in three ton trucks and heating uninsulated buildings!

Now obviously any infrastructure wears out.

But I personally don't see our existing heavy infrastructure wearing out in the sense that it will actually have to be replaced except piecemeal .
A major highway for instance, once planned, the right of way established, engineered , and actually constructed, is a hell of an expense.
But I have never actually known of a highway being replaced, except it it needs to be rerouted.

Highways can be and are repaved, the shoulders and gutters and drains maintained, etc, more or less forever- and a repaving job is peanuts compared to a n all new highway from scratch. Bridges are of course a different matter.

It seems to me that the demise of our existing infrastructure has been overblown- especially in relation to a declining economy.
I have extensive experience in various heavy trade work.Although I am not an engineer, I do know whereof I speak.
The buildings we are currently living in and using for institutional and commercial purpose with good maintenance can be l kept up indefinitely , if we choose to do so, in most cases. ditto the electrical grid- transmission lines and towers need replacement only at long intervals., and replacing them, as opposed to building new from scratch, must be a minor expense.

Even the replacement of generating plant must cost a lot less than building from scratch, given that the roads, transmission lines, water supply, and original site planning , etc, has already been done.

I see figures saying wind turbines- big ones - will last only twenty years. maybe so, but the tower foundations ab and most of the infrastructure will last more or less indefinitely,

So : are the pessimists over estimating the difficulty we will have keeping things running as- and if- the economy stalls and declines over the next few decades?
I'm sure a crash is baked in, but not how when it will arrive.

Sometimes I think we will wake up and work as hard at building wind and solar farms as we have at building subdivisions, shopping malls, and warships, etc.

I sometimes think this will happen not even because it makes good sense, but rather simply because the banks and corporate elements controlling things (mostly) will more or less trick us into doing it, once they see the possibilities.

20 years is the conservative "98%" estimate (since actual experience is fewer years). And modern WTs are built under Net Present Value assumptions i.e. doubling their life for a 15% higher initial cost is a poor investment decision.

That said, turbulence at the installed site is a major factor in wind turbine life, and that varies.

WT Towers should last through two WTs, and the supporting infrastructure is all pretty much 50+ years. Just replace a 1.3 MW WT with another 1.3 MW WT. So far, all replacements have been larger.


I'm betting that for most WTs, a replacement turbine will be available that has higher output than the original, and this can be installed onto the old tower. Its especially likely to outproduce the original in low wind speeds.

I suspect something similar with PV panels. Replace the old panels with newer panels that fit on the same frame, and your output will go up.

So the question will come up before a WT (or panels) can no longer be repaired, "will I bet better off to replace it before its service life is through?". Increased output will be one part of that computation.

My experience with PV panels over the last 23 years suggests that the sizes of the frames (they have been getting larger) and locations of the mounting holes change frequently. Without standardization, the mounts will probably have to be changed. With higher power output, the wiring will have to be replaced or an additional cable installed.

"Without standardization, the mounts will probably have to be changed."

Somebody (Black? Decker?) invented this thing called an electric drill motor; hand held, works great. I've often needed to 'realign' my panel frames with their mounts. No big deal, it's just aluminum.

As for "higher power output", that's what MPPT controllers are for. My controllers will accept any combination of panels up to 145 volts and 80+ amp output. I can even mismatch panel outputs into the same controller and get a lot of useful energy. That's the beauty of PV.

I'd like to see a cheapie DC/DC converter that locks onto the panel like a micro-inverter but doesn't invert. The goal of which is to be able to get the independent-panel operation like a micro-inverter, but with string operation that can be used with a standard inverter.

Check out SolarEdge. What you describe is the basic concept, panel level MPPT with "power optimizers" collecting the output from each panel and feeding it to a single string inverter. At the moment they claim to require their own matching inverter but it might be possible to develop the technology to work with any string inverter. I guess the problem is how to deal with the MPPT algorithms of the string inverter when you're already doing MPPT at the panel level.

Alan from the islands

That is soooooo close to what I want/need. I want to get one of the Outback Radian or Schneider/Xantrex XW inverters and set up a small (<4kWh) battery backup for power outages to keep the essentials going (like the fridge, stove, and a few lights) during a blackout but my roof layout is retarded so I have shading issues. If each panel could feed independently it would work, but as is...there are "issues" and I'd pretty much have to do micro-inverters - which rules out battery backup.

This right here could be a problem to get around: "Each power optimizer is equipped with the unique SafeDC™ feature which automatically shuts down modules' DC voltage whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down."

But they also have this: "The independent optimization (IndOP™) technology allows power optimizers to be installed without the need for additional interface hardware and to operate directly with any inverter. This technology enables easy and cost efficient retrofit of existing installations with power optimizers, and allows module-manufacturers to ship modules optimized by SolarEdge without any interface hardware."

A lot of marketing babble. Doesn't explain how it can interface with "any inverter." I'll have to look into this though.

If your roof is retarded but, you've got space, you could always consider ground mounts.

As far as what you want your system to do for you goes, there are probably going to be lots of innovations as Germany introduces incentives for the addition of storage to their energy transition. What I consider part of a first tier of new products integrating storage with PV is something being called "gridsave" from KACO New Energy. See:

KACO new energy to present two new energy storage and management systems at Intersolar Europe 2013

You will not find it on the KACO web site if you select the US as your country. If you can select the UK as your country then you will be able to view information on the products under Products>Energy Systems Technology>Energy Storage Systems>Powador-Gridsave and Powador-Gridsave eco.

It should be obvious that there are many needs such as yours that not being met by most systems currently available. I suspect that, as a result of German incentives we will be seeing quite a few interesting solutions going forward. Can you wait?

Alan from the islands

Unknown sun resources. Very Challanging . One option is to use multi smaller controllers at 24v. Have used Morningstar sun saver mppt or Phocos Cismppt 4-8 (500 w each) to power a super efficient mini split. Only option on boats with masts and rotating sun angles I know of. Real time monitoring is important.

Written by Ghung:
Somebody (Black? Decker?) invented this thing called an electric drill motor;

Ah, void the warranty and cause the frames to fail in winds below 100 miles/hour and snow loads less than 100 pounds/(square foot).

We are thinking about different types of mounts. You are thinking about a frame mounted parallel to a roof while I am thinking about mounts that are manually tiltable in elevation. Every PV panel I have ever mounted required custom fabrication of the mounts with different diameters and lengths of EMT.

Better low wind performance on "Gen II" WTs would be great. However, the wiring & transformers are designed for maximum output from the "Gen I" WT (example 1.3 MW), and there is often little slack built in for expansion.

Little, but some. Perhaps add a temperature controller, and below 35 C ambient, perhaps 1.45 MW can work. Just throttle back to 1.3 MW if ambient gets >35 C. Work arounds like that.

Weight and wind loadings are another issue. The static weight cannot increase much (a drop would be better when adding a Gen II WT to a 29 year old tower). More MW > more sideways thrust on the tower. Again, safety margins could be reevaluated, perhaps some reinforcement added 5 m above the base, etc.

I can see Gen I being a geared WT and Gen II being a variable Hz, non-geared direct drive design weighing a lot less, and with a lower cutoff wind speed. Gen II will be lighter and better low wind generation.

Just thoughts,


Written by oldfarmermac:
I'm sure a crash is baked in, but not how when it will arrive.

A system is most likely to break when it is subjected to maximum stress. If global peak natural gas occurs during the 2040's while crude oil production is decreasing rapidly near the inflection point on the falling edge, the combination of a high price for natural gas and high price and shortages of crude oil, seem very stressful. The system will already have done the easy things to adapt to peak oil making it more brittle by then. The use of natural gas in the U.S. permeates the economy being used to heat buildings, cook food, make electricity, make ethanol, make plastic, make fertilizer in the Haber Process and for many other industrial processes. The substitutes for heating buildings, cooking and the Haber Process use electricity which means converting them would increase demand for electricity at the same time the supply is constrained in natural gas generators. That will be difficult. If the system has not adapted proactively to those events, then I suspect global peak natural gas has the highest chance of triggering collapse of the global system.

As a parting note, I am working on an on-line story very post-Peak Oil - about 350 years after.

It is in the same world as James Michael Greer's "Stars Reach" on-line novel, but it is about the only society on earth to consistently make rational decisions in their long term self interest - the Union of Scandinavia, and later the Union of Scandinavia & Antarctica.

I want to explore (as a backdrop to the story) the cumulative impact of rational decisions.

(At the bottom, click "Older Posts" going all the way to "Technical Appendix").

Best Hopes for Our Future,


Somebody with the talent and perseverance to finish it should write a short story based on tptb- in this case bankers, trade unions carpenters electricians, etc, contractors, suppliers bueracrats- all getting together and pushing domestic and small industrial solar for all it's worth- in effect creating a bubble perhaps- such as the internet and g housing and stock market bubbles.

It would not ever get as big as any of these examples if it actually happened, but it would be wonderful if it were to happen.

Such a confluence of people working towards the same goal does not imply any need for a conspiracy or even an open public plan.
these things just take on a life of their own sometimes

Why Hasn't the Free Market Solved Climate Change?

One of the great mysteries of contemporary capitalism is the fact that as a system it appears absolutely incapable of responding to the crisis of climate change. Why can’t a system that made the automobile into an accessible mass consumer good provide us with clean and efficient mass transit, or at the very least electric cars? Why are we still burning coal, the energy source that drove the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago? Where are all the new green enterprises leading the way into a low-carbon future?

What? Really? How is that mystery at all? Are you that stupid?

Well let me provide you the answer . . . climate change is something that doesn't affect people directly in a near-term tangible manner . . . it is more likely to affect your grand-children than you. And the effects are only abstractly connected . . . you just don't connect driving your car with a drought or heat wave. And things that we could do to remedy the situation are less convenient and more expensive.

Why would anyone think capitalism would do ANYTHING about climate change?!?! Capitalism is about short-term exploitation for monetary gain.

"the market" isn't going to address a problem that is structured to hoover money from people's pockets and into the politically connected classes. And as the "un-presidents day" people would say "Until you change the way money works, You change nothing".
Under 1/3 (30%) of the money spent for climate change goes to actual Carbon reduction. That same 30% the "Investment Bankers" pocket. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/12/08/uk-report-just-30-of-carbo...

About 30 percent of the funds go into actual projects that reduce emissions, such as a wind farm in a developing nation, reports BBC.

The rest of the money goes into the following channels:
30 percent – Investment banks often buy up carbon offsets before a project is up and running, and they take an average 30 percent of the total in profits and operations.
15 percent – Shareholders of the companies putting the offset project together tend to take 15 percent in profits.
15 percent – Taxes, bank interest and fees.
10 percent – The margin normally taken by the retailer of carbon offsets, who sells them to corporations, individuals and other entities.

Why would anyone think capitalism would do ANYTHING about climate change?!?!

But we know that 'capitalism' has "done something" on the issue.

"We show that there was an anomalous increase in the average diurnal temperature range for the period Sept. 11-14, 2001," the researchers reported in today's (Aug. 8) issue of the journal Nature. "Because persisting contrails can reduce the transfer of both incoming solar and outgoing infrared radiation and so reduce the daily temperature range, we attribute at least a portion of this anomaly to the absence of contrails."

Dear TOD-sters,

Well, today is the 7th anniversary of my first post on TOD, so I guess it's as good a time as any to add my farewells and good-byes and thank-you's to the thread. It's been an incredible run! I've used many of the resources here in my teaching of courses in Ecology, Energy, Sustainabilty, etc. Lots of good graphs, especially. :-)

I am registered now with Ron's (Darwinian's) site and with TEX with my good old 'sgage' handle (which goes back to my first University mainframe account in 1978), and will be keeping tabs on both of them going forward - I hope to see many familiar "faces" there.

But as much as I've learned and benefited from the innumerable key posts over the years, I will really, really miss the Drum Beat, and so I want to convey my deepest thanks to Leanan for her incredible talent, knowledge, patience, firmness, humor, and all around awesomeness at the job of Moderator of this beast. Leanan, I am tipping back a beer right now in your honor! Cheers!

And so to all of you, including people I've maybe locked horns with in the past (maybe especially you ;-) I extend my great thanks for the intellectual stimulation, challenge, and world-view expansion. I am going to fight the temptation to name names, 'cause I'd just forget someone. It's been great, and though I've been doing online communities since my first 300 baud modem in 1981, this has been one of the best online communities I've ever encountered.

See you down the road!

All best,

Steve Gage (sgage)

Always enjoyed your posts, Steve. And it's good to see first and last names as we wound up. It makes it very personal.

Nice knowing you for five years, forty-two weeks. Seven years, I think, entitles you to "grandfather status!"

All the best to you, too,

Tom Henderson

Ditto re. Leanan - thank you! thank you! thank you!

ALL, As in savoring the last bottle of the vintage wine from the cellar, Enjoy (and/or utilize for prep) bounty from refined products of Sweet Affordable Crude (a.k.a Concentrated Ancient Liquid Sunlight). If any TODer needs to source pallet of PV in NW Florida or NW Arkansas, email me. Now, TOD has yet to answer "The Question" .... Are Humans really smarter than yeast?

And a tip of the hat from me to 'totoneila', aka Bob Shaw, who first asked that question here on TOD, as well as musing marvelously about wheel barrows, spider web rings and other simple yet fascinating things. Hope you are well, toto.

Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

If anybody knows how to get in touch with Toto, please drop me an email at my address in my profile.
Likewise Airedale. Likewise Wimbi, who has not posted an email address.
thank you all!!
I'm going to miss you terribly.


AlanfromBigEasy might be able to help you out if you email him. (Don't know for sure.)

As I understand it...Totoneila does not want to be involved with peak oil any more, and does not wish to be contacted by people here.

In fact, I'd say that anyone who has not posted an e-mail address does not wish to be contacted. Please respect that.

In the historic course of events I would, as I often did, take one of the short abstracts that Leanan posts and use this for the Tech Talk which I would put up the following Sunday.

Since, alas, my last Tech Talk went up today on TOD, that will no longer be possible. However, for those with a little curiosity, I have written about the "Fracking v Acidizing" story in the San Francisco Chronicle, on Bit Tooth Energy where that series will continue.

Again my deep and sincere thanks to Leanan for providing this service and forum for so many years, and to those of you who have contributed and helped with my education.

Bon Voyage!

Heading Out -

Although I knew almost zilch about oil (except some of the political ramifications and that production was peaking) when I began working as Community Moderator in January 2011, I read each and every Tech Talk carefully because you have a way of boiling technical details down to a layman's level of understanding. And you took us around the world too.

Thanks for all your work.


Two of Canada's largest unions have merged. The founding convention is this weekend with quite a few notale speakers.

Here's some background...

Unifor officially takes shape at historic union convention

Rabble.ca By H.G. Watson, September 1, 2013

In an event befitting the historic creation of one of the biggest private sector unions in Canada, Unifor came to life Saturday in the largest hall of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, surrounded by giant video screens and just a touch of spectacle.

As expected, the Unifor constitution was overwhelmingly accepted by members of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, with just over 94 per cent voting in favour of adopting the new constitution.

This article about Naomi Klein's speech to the convention is what prompted me to post...

Naomi Klein: Unifor should fight for a green labour revolution

By Martin Lukacs, September 1, 2013

The best-selling author argued that climate change is not a threat to jobs, but is instead the most important tool and argument against the austerity agenda that is working neither for people nor the planet.

"If Unifor becomes the voice for a boldly different economic model, one that provides solutions both to the attacks on working people and the attacks on the earth itself, then you can stop worrying about your continued relevance," Klein said.

Workers in Canada are facing a classic example of the tactic Klein documented in her book, The Shock Doctrine, whereby right-wing interests systematically exploit crises -- whether economic shocks, natural disasters, or wars -- to impose pro-corporate policies. These policies -- deregulation, cuts to social spending and privatization -- do not solve underlying problems but only enrich a small elite.

-- snip --

Klein called Stephen Harper's main project "extractivism," a single-minded natural resource extraction agenda for which he has sacrificed the manufacturing base of the country and attacked worker’s most basic collective rights.

Klein's argument is that climate change is an argument vividly demonstrating the failutre of this logic of continual extraction and profit.

"[Climate change] is a powerful message -- spoken in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts -- telling us that we need a whole new economic model, one based on justice and sustainability," Klein said.

She suggested that solutions to climate change are already at the heart of many of the labour movement's existing demands and in fact "vindicate much of what the left has been working towards for decades."

Addressing climate change will require a revival and reinvention of the public sphere, with clean and affordable transport, energy efficient housing, major investment in infrastructure -- a transformation that could create millions of new, high-paying jobs.

There is a lot of work to be done in adapting to climate change. The kind of work that requires real people working good middle class jobs to get the job done.

Now, if we could only just stop misallocating our resources, and start setting priorities.

I've read what everyone has said about TOD closing up shop,and there isn't anything to add to what has already been said. It's been a learning experience for me as it has been for so many others.

What I'll do tomorrow morning, I don't know yet. For eight years TOD was read before the newspaper, now with it gone I'll have to read the newspaper first again, and that doesn't really do much for me.

so long to everyone, plan for the worst and hope for the best.

charlie compton
the old hermit in southeastern Arizona

Come on over to this X-change place these guys are talking about in the first post. I registered there. I'll check it out, especially if they keep the style sheet kind of like TOD.

Orange font! Orange font!

The spot price charts from yahoo on the right replace my two children.

If we keep things Leanan-civil, we'll all have a good time and learn a thing or two.

ps - the spot prices are a nice reason(or defence ;)) to leaving the site up in a public browser by 'accident', or at least in a friends browsing history!

see you around!

Concerning the article from above, Gulf Coast Ship Rate Nears 4-Week High as Exports Surge

The number of tankers chartered from the Gulf Coast rose to 25 last week from 22 a week earlier, according to shipbroker Charles R. Weber Co. Exports from the U.S. refining hub are climbing as Gulf refiners process the most fuel for this time of year in at least two decades while plants in Europe reduce production.

Strikes disrupting crude oil export from Libya have decreased the oil available to European refineries causing Europe to import more finished products from the U.S.

As the Drumbeats stop, the trickle of bad news continues to flow:

Re: Why Fukushima is worse than you think

It appears that the Japanese Government will be taking over the problems at Fukushima:

Japan Vows Quick Action, Public Funds for Fukushima

Japan Reiterates May Consider Discharging Radiated Fukushima Water Into Ocean

All that nasty radioactive water must be put somewhere and the ocean is the logical place. Only the government can go forward on that course, since no corporation has the authority to do so. It's hoped that the Government will decide to go for deep ocean disposal, where the water could be relatively isolated from the rest of the ocean and it's web of life for a rather long time...

E. Swanson

I hope you're being sarcastic? It wasn't clear...

We had a discussion on this a few Drumbeats back: What is the least worse solution to mitigate the contaminated cooling water predicament, especially the leaking into the environment around the plant? The Japan Trench is a couple of hundred kilometers off the coast of Fukushima and is 9000 meters deep at some points. I suggested that an artificial lagoon be built adjacent to the plant (a sink), and a pipeline built to the bottom of the Japan Trench; use jet pumps to pull contaminated water from the lagoon and pump it to the bottom of the trench. It's already flowing into the ocean. May as well have some control over that.

Again, this is a least worst 'solution', considering that the melted fuel will require cooling for years (decades?), and the cooling water is already leaching into the ground and coastal waters. Of course, if you have any better ideas, I'm sure many folks would like to see them. Beats the crap out of duct tape, IMO.

Excuse my dumb question but, why isn't the radioactive water being recycled and used to cool whatever it is they are cooling? It makes no sense to me that, they are contaminating more water and adding to what seems to me to be an existing unmanageable pool of used (contaminated) cooling water that, is growing more so everyday,.

Alan from the islands

I'm sure that recycling would involve cooling and filtering the water, and keeping the contaminants diluted/dispersed may be part of their reasoning, though it's clear they are woefully unprepared for anything of this magnitude. They're aren't any good solutions for dealing with this volume of contaminated water, as we've seen at the Hanford site, where leaking tanks are leaching their foul contents into the ground water, on the banks of the Columbia River.

Maybe someone more familiar with with dealing with melted reactor cores and fuel rods can offer more, whomever that may be.

There have been a number of posters on TOD telling the readership how safe fission power is and how Fukushima was not a problem.

Setting us all straight on how there is no problem would be one of their last possible acts before the ship of TOD slips 'neath the waves.

"... recycling would involve cooling and filtering the water..."

Can you imagine how deadly those filters would be? Yeow.

Actually filtering the water was there original plan. Filter off the radioactive waste and then dump the clean water back into the ocean or recycle it back through the reactors. Unfortunately there were no commercially available systems to meet there need so they hired a company to design and build it. After they started it up they found it had a number of problems and didn't work well. They are currently working to fix those problems. So until a replacement filter plant is built they are continuing to install storage tanks.

They blew up, the cores are probably not all in the containment structures - the facility is a wreck. Forget the idea that they are doing controlled things in some organized way, like cooling contained cores in "cold shutdown". They are pumping water on highly radioactive wreckage and they have no way to recycle anything.

Yeah, I believe they have a recycling program and they are cleaning up some of the water. However, a problem is that the facility is at the bottom of a hill such that ground continually runs into the site and fills the damaged radioactive building thus creating an ever-growing amount of radioactive waste-water.

They've basically been buying up every storage tank they can find but it is kind of a hopeless effort as more radioactive water is always being created and the older tanks are starting to leak themselves.

It's got to be more complicated than just groundwater flowing downhill into the reactor buildings as it should be relatively easy to intercept most of that water by drilling a series of wells and pumping out water to lower the water table. That water would not be radioactive so it could simply be pumped into the ocean. The plant area itself could be covered with a non-impervious material to prevent rain water from soaking into the ground.

The impression I have is that a lot of this water is a by-product of trying to keep the reactors cool.

I hope you're being sarcastic?

No. The problem is not unlike that of disposing of depleted fuel from the power plants or the liquid wastes from the production of nuclear bombs, but the volumes are far larger and continue to grow. As described by Ghung in another comment, it would appear that the "least worst" place to put that radioactive water would be at the bottom of the deep trench off the coast of Japan. Treating the water to remove the radioactive elements is possible, but then, what's to be done with the resulting radioactive materials?

If the water is made more dense than the water at the bottom of the trench by adding salt, once placed in the trench, it would likely stay at the deepest locations for a very long time. Rather like what happens as the result of the THC circulation in the North Atlantic or around the Antarctic, except the trench is much deeper, so there's (almost) no way for a rapid return to the oceans above.

I suppose the other alternative would be the use of deep injection wells. In Japan, with it's long history of earthquakes, this might not be such a good idea...

E. Swanson

Meanwhile - Fukushima leaks: Japan pledges $470m for 'ice wall'

...with photos of growing number of tanks and graphics showing the proposed ice dam and refrigeration plant.

A deep displosal well, ought to be a lot easier. So long as it can't reach usable groundwater for a thoudands years that ought to be OK.

I'm more worried about the radioactive spent fuel junk piles. Can they be kept cool so they don't catch on fire? Can they reconfigure themselves and become critical?

Crews had full access to the spent storage ponds only a few months after the disaster. the equipment needed to cool, filter, and add water (that was destroyed) has been replaced in the main pools. Also work has been done to strengthen the damaged buildings.

Since the fuel is spent there isn't normally enough fuel in it to make criticaity possible. The nuclear waste in these rods also inhibits nuclear fission. If in the unlikely event criticality does happen boric acid can be added to the water to stop the reaction (Boric acid is a commonly used neutron absorber).

Tepco is preparing to move the spent fuel out of the ponds into air cooled dry casks for long term storage. Dry Cask storage is probably the safest storage method available. The move is expected to start late this year and may take up to a year to complete.

Since things are so quiet around here, I thought I'd post my last graphic. It's an idea of how one might combine oil discovery and depletion in a visible way in the same diagram. It's conceptual only, not based on any real-world numbers, although I suppose it could be.

I started listing the contributors that I wanted to name to say thank you for the last Drumbeat but there are too many, and not all have posted recently, so I forget them.

Leanan, if it's possible, could you list the major contributors in your final Drumbeat? Some have made over 10,000 posts. That's an enormous amount they've contributed over the years. It deserves recognition.

aardy - I searched on your user name just to get a sense of what a 'middle-of-the-road' poster's volume would look like - 1,000-1,200. I'm in the same ballpark, though I've been here longer 7 yrs 48 wks. And I've also done as you did, went to list some old posters, but there are too many good ones to recall. But by chance in looking briefly at your comments, I came across what certainly must be the shortest ever comment by memmel: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4617#comment-419628 For those who weren't here then, the guy could definitely weave a narrative about these issues. Often couldn't follow him, but did find some nuggets within his volumes. He was unique among the many TOD characters over the years.

I am also at the 1000+ level. One of our leaders once suggested that we try not to add to the noise. His admonition probably prevented me from having 2000 posts

Whoops! I had exactly 2800 comments in exactly 7 years, so 400/yr - just a bit over one a day. (This, perhaps my last, is comment 2801.) I hope most of those were useful to someone...

I am over 16,500 posts on TOD overall.

I am not sure if that is a mark of fame or shame !

Best Hopes to All of Us,


Wow, that is a lot. I am at 1200 altogether.

My first comment in August 2007 after lurking for awhile was:

Your list of environmentalists must be a joke? James Audubon was an environmentalist? He killed more birds than a windmill.

I can go back and crack myself up a few years down the road.

Interesting on the way in, interesting on the way out - Libya's oil output plunges, refinery operations halted due to lack of oil, faces fuel shortage.
(Note: Refinery halts and fuel shortages not specifically mentioned in this article).

Blockade of Libya oil terminals sinks output

Libya’s oil production plunges to under 100,000 bpd due to weeks-long blockade by guards at key Libyan oil terminals.

TRIPOLI - A weeks-long blockade by guards at key Libyan oil terminals has sent production plunging to under 100,000 barrels per day in a major blow to the economy, an official said Monday.


From up top: The oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years. How worried should we be?

But it’s not fully clear what this all adds up to. What happens if the oceans keep acidifying and water temperatures keep rising as a result of global warming? Are those stresses going to wipe out coral reefs and fisheries around the globe, costing us trillions (as one paper suggested)? Or is there a chance that some ecosystems might remain surprisingly resilient?

Dollars won't mean s**t if the ocean dies. If the ocean dies, YOU die - this is an extinction level event. Idiots.

"If the ocean dies, you die."

Are you referring to the death of phytoplankton which produce half of Earth's atmospheric oxygen, or something else?

He knows this. He just speak the language people in charge understand.

And BTW, those trillions we lose, that is the collapsing fish market.

Ahh, yes, the abundant fish once waxed—so many fish one could but walk across them! A basket lowered would come up fish, infinite fish! Now? Rainbow oil slicks, the stench of sun-baked petrol, and evil bird mockeries growling across the skies.


Assume: Oil @ 20:1, PV @ 10:1, Wind @ 15:1
Assume: 60 "units" of oil left

Scenario 1: Invest 3 units of Oil to obtain the last 57 units. Burn it. Total 60 units of energy used.

Scenario 2: Invest 3 units of Oil to obtain the last 57 units. Take 57 units of oil and invest them into Wind (57 * 15 - 57) 798. Take the 798 units from wind and invest them into PV (798 * 10 - 798) 7,182. Re-invest that into more PV (7,182 * 10 - 7,182) 64,638...et cetera...


the 57 are needed to feed people and run global supply chains. what you say could be done but not in market system the way we have it. plus there are other problems but thats the big one. this was discussed in 1986 book by Gever et al - Beyond Oil which can be found online (somewhere)

Much of that 57 barrels is quite unnecessary, and inefficient, consumption. Divert some from consumption to investment in energy efficient or energy producing infrastructure and the equation changes.

Simple semi-hypothetical example.

The French invest 22 billion euros in doubling the Paris Metro (and tripling passenger-km) and 21 billion euros in building 1,500 km of new tram lines in almost every town of 100,000 in France. When complete, 7 million more French take oil free, energy efficient transportation each workday.

This 43 billion euro investment comes from the French taking vacations closer to home, many of them reached by rail (High Speed Rail is doubled as well). So, less energy on vacations > less energy used getting to work. A few billion more euros are used to build wind turbines and soalr PV, and the fraction of French electricity from fossil fuels drops from 15% to 5%.


More than 86% of cereals still do not enter global trade, but are produced and consumed within local regions, although the trend for an increased share reaching the global markets is expected to continue in the next decade, especially for wheat.

For significant populations, however, very small 'investments' using fossil fuel can produce large returns in food, especially in those parts of the world where traditional semi-subsistence farming persists (family / village feeds itself and sells relatively small surplus). Nitrogen fertilizer is the single most important limiting factor in most crop production. (About 5% of world NG goes to fertiliser production.) Small inputs of fertiliser, together with small fuel input for transport enabling efficient local storage or 'value-added' stages, can sustain local consumption in many regions. Fuel for irrigation in some situations can be highly effective in maintaining yields at a high benefit to cost ratio. In some cases, renewable energies make cost-effective substitutes. Ultimately, I hazard a guess that these ratios will determine global markets, rather than, as at the moment, global industrial economic growth and urbanisation driving all trends in energy use. As Alan points out, we drive very inefficient models that appear to be increasingly uncompetitive.

Excess (inefficient?) consumption can be a drain on competitiveness?


Haber and Borlaug were responsible for doubling the population of Earth.
Nature nominated Haber as the most important person of the 20th Century, over Einstein, etc.

They did right in this.

Did Nature mention his connection to Zyklon B?


No such thing as bad PR, eh?

Sweet and Sour.. a Terrible Beauty..

Important doesn't mean good. Fertilizers, death camp gas, and he pushed for Germany to make/use chemical weapons in WW1. Definitely some important negatives.

Well, yes, but...
England saw its population increase more than 3-fold before the Haber process made a lot of difference to agriculture.

It is worth noting perhaps that until the 1930s very little of US agriculture used much synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. On the Great Plains for example, both yields and soil N content were up to that point drifting apparently remorselessly downwards.

As far as one can see, per capita food production globally over next several decades will continue to depend on N-fertiliser, and regions, to a degree, will presumably compete for fertiliser. I am pointing out that surprisingly little N goes a long way under certain circumstances. Population trends have been and are wildly different across the world and some countries (including UK) are already way over their local 'carrying capacity', whatever their future fertility rate. Others might find themselves surprisingly resilient and able to sustain quite large populations if and when these have levelled off. (I make a comparison with WT's contention that some countries are already 'losing out' in their ability to import oil in favour of countries that can get a better return on oil imports - e.g. OECD v/v China. We will see ... well not me personally... who remains more competitive in the face of all the hard limits we all acknowledge here on TOD.)

"the 57 are needed to feed people and run global supply chains."

As Alan noted, there's a hell of a lot of waste. Lets say of that scenario that 1/4 was diverted to renewable build out and the rest was burned: 3 would be invested, 43 burned to run society, leaving 14 for renewable conversion...(14 * 15 - 14) = 196...take 50 to run society and re-invest the rest ((196-50) * 15 - 196) = 1,994... take 100 to run society and re-invest the rest ((1994 - 100) * 15 - 1994) = 26,416

Its interesting to note that this is probably some people's nightmare scenario.

Keep in mind that there are some big differences between oil and renewables. For oil you find the field, drill it and make a pipline to get the oil to market. But at the end of the life of the oil field you have to find a new field, drill it, and then make a new pipeline. In the end the oil companies will be running as fast as they can just to keep up. Also when you burn oil for energy at least 50% is lost as waist heat.

With wind and solar thermal you build it and then after a few years perform a small amount of maintenance and then keep using it. 25 years ago California installed one of the first wind farms and some of the first solar thermal power plants, all with a design life of 25 years. Well, 25 year later, all are still generating power and the owners are not planning to shut them down. With regular maintenance wind turbines and solar thermal power plants can run indefinitely. So instead of a rapidly increasing work load of oil, renewables have a reasonably steady work load. Also with renewables you can recycle all of a wind turbine or solar thermal plant into new ones. For oil there is not way to remove and recycle the old drill pipes.

Also for PV no one knows how long solar panels will last. The worlds first solar cell is still working over 50 years later although most of that time it has been in a display case. We know panels 20 to 40 years old are out here that still work with only a small drop in output power. Overall it looks like a 60+years of life is possible.

For renewables most eroei studies assume a short life for PV and 20 year life for wind or solar thermal. If you factor in the long life of renewables The EROEI numbers start to get large.

"If you factor in the long life of renewables The EROEI numbers start to get large."

Manufactured October, 1994...

zometrack2 photo zometrack2.jpg

... in continuous use over 18 years, still producing full rated power, now pumping water for our gardens and livestock; no signs of failure yet. I'm sure their EROEI went positive a long time ago, and gets better every (sunny) day, but who's counting. Some things just work.

25 years ago California installed one of the first wind farms and some of the first solar thermal power plants, all with a design life of 25 years. Well, 25 year later, all are still generating power and the owners are not planning to shut them down.

Uh . . . many of those wind turbines are dead or not generating power. Mechanical things break down and require maintenance.

A lot of the tee-tiny ones of the early days seem to just be sitting there doing nothing. But they're there...waiting to be salvaged. Rebuild them, or reuse the materials in something else - it no longer has be to mined from virgin lands.

"Uh . . . many of those wind turbines are dead or not generating power."

I drive buy this wind farm several times a year. Most today are fully operational and generate power. In the early days there were several different types installed. A couple didn't work well and were later scrapped (including one farm of vertical axis wind turbines). When that happened newer better designed turbines were installed. The Altamont wind farm had a capacity of about 600MW and and anually generates 1.1TWH of power.


The older wind turbines were not very bird friendly so recently many of the old turbines were removed and newer bird friendly turbines were installed. HOwever this year I noticed a new group of wind turbines further east of the main farm. All of the turbines there were the older turbines that had been removed earlier. I don't know what happened to the original plan to scape the old ones but the fact is they are still connected to the grid and generating power.

"A lot of the tee-tiny ones of the early days seem to just be sitting there doing nothing. But they're there...waiting to be salvaged. "

The failed ones were salvaged 15 to 20 years ago. The turbines built by US Wind and installed in the mid 80's are still there and still generating power (I see them turning on a regular basis. The Altimont wind farm now has a capacity of about 600MW with a yearly production of about 1.1TWH. The Tehachipe and San Gorgonio wind farms also had non-functional turbins salvaged and replacement turbins installed. San Gorgonio had the most failed turbines and last time I saw both of these wind farms about 10 years ago all the turbines were spinning and appeared fully functional.

Uh . . . many of those wind turbines are dead or not generating power.

You just saying this doesn't make it true.

Do you have actual data to back up your claim?

Mechanical things break down and require maintenance.

Yes and that is why there is preventive maintenance programs.

Thanks to Leanan and all the others who over the years have made the Oil Drum a spot of rational thinking in cyberspace. I have seldom posted anything since I can usually find a post from someone else saying what I wished to say. Instead I have kept busy creating my own little ark. All the things I hated about Tennessee when I was young are still here but nevertheless I am encouraged by the strengthening of those characteristics that I always admired in the local culture as expressed by the phenomenal growth of the local food movement and the quiet resurgence of crafts among the locals.

Thanks Leanan and all.
TOD has sent me down a path where one cannot turn around, and must continue the journey.
It will be missed, but I had a feeling before it was announced that the days were numbered.

Common to all is the belief that some sort of economic right based upon citizenship - rather than upon one's relationship to the production process or one's family status - is called for as part of the just solution to social problems in advanced societies. Basic Income, conceived as a universal and unconditional, if modest, continuous stream of income granted throughout life to all members of a political community is just the simplest and most striking element in an expanding set of social policy proposals inspired by this belief and currently debated, if not already implemented.

We've been bracing for this for a while:

Shippers brace for more Suez turmoil after vessel attack.


- not a big attack thus far, but it ain't over.

Much of the canal is just a big ditch in the desert, especially the eastern side. I'm not sure what resources Egypt's military has in place to defend it against a small force with the right weapons to disable a ship.


Douglas saw things very differently. As an engineer he realised that the real wealth of society lay not in the profit and loss columns, but in the goods and services society can produce. He realised too that with the increase of automation, fewer and fewer people could produce more and more goods, both consumer goods and capital goods.

When will the World reach 'Peak Chicken'?


Animal welfare groups no doubt basically have their hearts in the right place. But good intentions are generally forgotten when it comes down to the question of making a living- i.e., colecting a salary by running a non profit .
Obviously these people have found themselves a sentimental idiot with lots of money but no brain to funds such foolishness, given the many ways they could get more animal welfare bang for the dollar.

I don't care for confined operations of any sort, and won't defend them, but they do provide us with cheap meat and eggs- which are desperately needed by millions of poor humand.

Old laying hens are not just euthanized and burned or buried. they wind up partly in tins and sandwich processed meats etc, and the rest of the carcass, sometimes all of it, is rendered into animal feed.

We are still a very wasteful society, but a truckload of old chickens disposed of as waste is a considerable financial liability, where as the same load delivered to a processing plant for rendering results in a nice check being deposited in the owners account - as opposed to a bill in the mailbox
Even a mixture of offal, manure, feet, and feathers, etc, has considerable commercial value these days.

Many years ago, most processors of pork bragged that they sold everything but the squeal- and truthfully too, with the exception of some pollutants in waste water which cost more to capture and concentrate for sale than they were worth.

Mother Jones is generally a quality publication which I read frequently.

I'm distressed to find them publishing such a poorly researched article.

Don't want to clutter Nate's "what are you doing?" thread with this, where it would follow on from my description of our intentional community as 'more aware than the greater world' or something like that. But I must vent.

Was at a Labor Day/Birthday potluck for a member. Lots of her 'outside' friends were there. One was saying things like 'there's plenty of food and fuel for us all, it's just a matter of distribution'. I surreptitiously rolled my eyes. But then she came out with, "We, (the US) are now the largest exporter of energy in the world, thanks to fracking." I offered that her information was 'totally wrong'. She countered with, "I don't know what you're reading, but, no, you're wrong."

So it goes. This is why I generally try to keep my mouth shut. People don't know, don't want to know, and now I can't even respond by saying 'check out the Oil Drum'. Who's gonna look at an archive?

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to propose a wager. Her hubris just might buy her an education, and you a bottle of bourbon or some such.

There are times when you can get in a good word.. but a lot of others when you have to just hold your tongue and try to just give them a patient, Mona Lisa smile if you can.

'Good luck with that..' is snarky, but sometimes escapes my lips..

In the example you cited, you could suggest that she do a Google Search for: EIA Weekly Supply Estimates. In fact, you can do this on a smart phone.

And then note that the data show (top two lines of data) that the US is currently reliant on imports for about half of the crude oil that we process daily in US refineries.

"Google Search for: EIA Weekly Supply Estimates"

Nice page, esp for the EIA labyrinth, not even a pdf. Good one to bookmark for the upcoming Dark Ages.

This is why I generally try to keep my mouth shut. People don't know, don't want to know, and now I can't even respond by saying 'check out the Oil Drum'. Who's gonna look at an archive?

What? You didn't whip out your smart electronic thingy, access the Web and pullup the latest statistics from the EIA to prove to her that she was wrong? One doesn't need a TOD archive to refute that one, though those of us posting on TOD have made numerous efforts to add depth the raw data.

At a more basic level, you are right about the problem, which is, how can the educated person counter all the propaganda, disinformation and outright lies which are blasted at the general public every day thru various media channels? So it goes (thank you, Kurt V.)...

E. Swanson

I do not carry an electronic thingy, smart or otherwise. And even those who do, do not get reception where we were, tucked into our little valley.

I need to read some more Vonnegut. I'll have time now with TOD gone.

We, (the US) are now the largest exporter of energy in the world, thanks to fracking."

Of course, the irony about this commonly held belief, e.g., talking heads on CNBC claiming that we are a net crude oil exporter, is that it is 180 degrees opposite from what is actually going on, i.e., so far at least, through 2012, developed net oil importing countries like the US were gradually being shut out of the global market for exported oil via price rationing, as developing countries, led by China, consumed an increasing share of a post-2005 declining volume of Global Net Exports of oil.

"We, (the US) are now the largest exporter of energy in the world, thanks to fracking."

Scary. I think a few years down the road there will be a lot of Chevy Suburbans and F-150s being repossessed from owners saying "But they said we were the largest exporter of energy in the world? Why don't we keep that oil here?!?!"

Like many of you I've been thinking about what I would say, and what changes I will make as graduation day approaches. TOD has been a wonderful education, one more like what I wish I had received earlier in life (if I would have been ready for it then). The group, the administration, the format, the topics all just worked.

For me, once the data and concepts were worked out, my main interest in TOD has been the DrumBeat and all the interesting side paths that I have followed through the years. Most of these investigations were prompted by DB posts from regulars who I came to respect for their opinions and areas of specific knowledge. I'm glad that some still are interested in “doing the data”, but for me these side paths have helped me to see the connectedness of the various major predicaments we face.

The picture that I see now is simply the consequences of the discovery and exploitation of (the majority of the easy-to-access and high quality) fossil fuels, and all the effects that flow from that. This is overlaid on top of the normal long cycle of the rise and fall of civilizations and empires.

There developed over time here a division of “doomers” vs more “optimistic” posters, which is an artifact of the standard American mindset and of the “religion of progress” that Greer is exploring. Thankfully, I think that perhaps this division has begun to abate somewhat in recent time, as more people begin to see the nature of what is happening without trying to assign a value judgment to it. Assigning labels of optimism and pessimism to the cycles of history is as pointless as trying to figure out if spring or fall are good or bad. Or rather that the act of observing things as they are is not optimistic or pessimistic, instead these are mindsets concerning how one reacts to what is observed. Trying to block one's ability to even observe certain things because they may be unpleasant is not optimism, it is blindness.

Like any other graduation, what we did in school will be less important than how we use that in the “real world” afterwords. To that end, I have decided to try to scale back my comments on line and to try to spend both my thoughts and time on doing more. Also, I am hopelessly addicted to information about what is happening in the world, but I know that while I may feel as though I need to “keep up” it has little real impact on what happens in the wider world. I cannot help but feel this obsession to know what happens is unhealthy on some level. Our time here is always limited in the end, and we don't get to find out what happened – because it doesn't stop happening. The things I do can have effects long after I'm gone, but most of what I learn from obsessively reading about current events will pass with me. So I will be trying for a better balance.

Good luck to all, and thank you for all I learned and the very real ways that it has impacted my life.

Israel claims joint US missile launch in Mediterranean for 'target practice'

Initially, the Israeli military apparently had no data on the launch either. However, later Israel claimed a joint missile launch with the US in the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli authorities pointed out that they tested an “anchor” target missile used to check how well the anti-missile system known as "Arrow-2" functions.

US Navy Forces haven’t fired any missiles from vessels deployed in the Mediterranean, according to a spokesman.

So Israel launches a couple of rockets secretly which were detected by Russia. Then Israel says it was a routine test carried out jointly with US, who denies it had anything to do with it. And All at at a time when there's a naval build-up in the area, everyone's finger is on the trigger due to a possible US attack on Syria and political resolve for action is failing.

Sounds more like Israel was trying to covertly influence the outcome of the Syrian situation in some way. The US must of been aware, but their quick denial of involvement seems to point to it being potentially damaging if they were shown to be involved.

Syria has always been a difficult problem to solve for the Empire and a prelude to dealing with Iran. The low hanging fruit has all been picked and just the difficult stuff remains. Things really don't seem to be going well, which only increases the risks of continuing and makes the situation all the more worrying.

I'm afraid the odds of a hot war breaking out within the next few years in that general area(- which i sometimes refer to as "sand country" - although the whole of it isn't a desert n by any means-) are very very high.

And given the security implications for the rest of the world's powerful countries, we may all get dragged into it.

On days when I'm feeling particularly cynical, I think the only way that part of the world will ever settle down is when they kill each other off to the point there aren't enough of them left to get up a decent sized fight.

The populations there have exploded to the point that when they do eventually run out of oil to export and pay for thier food, and they REALLY ARE going to kill each other off in a desperate fight for survival.

I doubt given the circumstances that will prevail in the rest of the world when this comes to pass, that more than a very small fraction of the people living in that part of the world will be able to emigrate.

Borders will be forcibly defended by virtually all countries because virtually all countries are going to be dealing with "serious as a heart attack" problems of their own.

Malthus has never been proven wrong, any more than peak oil theory.
He was just ahead of his time, as peak oil theory is a little a head of its time.

Here is a good/bad consequence, of alt energy


Germany produces so much cheap (renewable) electricity and sells it at (sometimes close to zero cost) in the Netherlands that the Netherlands has to cutail and even shut down domestic coal and NG powerplants.
It is good for the consumer but bad for Dutch power generators.


*VERY* good for the environment, and good as well for Dutch natural gas reserves. German renewables may extend their lifespan a few years.

Now if the Dutch put up a few more wind turbines and solar panels ...


they're working on it - (too) slowly but surely.


$20,000 a year for flood insurance? Sandy survivors face tough rebuilding choices

The Federal Emergency Management Agency began updating coastal flood maps across the country in 2009, a process it expects to complete by 2017. In New York City and New Jersey, the work began a few years before Hurricane Sandy struck on Oct. 29, 2012, damaging or destroying 365,000 homes in New Jersey and another 20,000 in New York. After a public comment period, the region’s maps are expected to become final by mid-2015, putting into effect new insurance premiums.

...Making matters worse for coastal homeowners, federally subsidized flood insurance for primary residences will start to phase out by late next year, eventually forcing about 1.1 million property owners to pay the substantially higher full-market rates. A law passed by Congress last summer eliminated subsidies for the National Flood Insurance Program, which is $24 billion in debt in the wake of massive storms such as Hurricane Katrina.

I wonder if they'll have the political gumption to stick with this.

While there's probably plenty of support from people tired of subsidizing other folks insurance, I see all of our insurance going up as a result. People will still be living on the coasts, and the costs will be socialized one way or another. We also pay to maintain and repair the infrastructure these homes and businesses require, insured or not.

We have friends on the coast who've had to rebuild twice, still live in the same place, and their roads, power lines, etc. have been rebuilt multiple times, but they say they'll never move; an easy enough decision when they don't have to bear the full costs.

Anybody know if this is an issue for folks in the Mountainous areas that are prone to wildfires? Has this become an insurance focus, too? Makes me wonder if the 'right to live wherever you please' can start to be weighed against real consequenses now, a little bit like the question of paying for your own weight when flying..

Most definitely, here's an example:


Insurance cos are increasingly unwilling to write policies, or they will put strict conditions on the policies such as the creation of 'defensible space' around a forested home to be eligible.

As a side note, tn the Sunshine Canyon fire near Boulder 3 years ago, it emerged that some homeowners has purchased dedicated protection from a private firefighting company. This created some awkward moments as the private crews stood down once they had protected their policy holders.

CNN did a story about the private fire brigades protecting movie stars' homes in Idaho recently. One fire fighter interviewed said he used to work for the forest service, but the work was easier/safer and the pay was better.

Search kboi2.com - "Idaho fire puts spotlight on pricey homes"

Academy-award winner Richard Dreyfuss, who's family is from here, tweeted, "Thank you, firefighters, and be safe. Houses aren't worth lives."

But they are worth a lot of money. In fact, insurance companies are actually hiring private firefighters to protect certain people's homes. They work alongside the regular firefighters, who number more than a thousand.

"A lot of them are former wildland firefighters that worked for an agency and now they're working for insurance companies, and as long as they're coordinating with our ops people its one less house we have to protect," Beaver Creek Fire Information Officer Traci Weaver said.

How long before only the well-heeled get fire protection, like in the old days when fire brigades would only fight fires for those who had pre-paid for their services.

As with access to Education, Healthcare, Bail Money of various sorts, I'm sure that this situation has never really been gone.. but it's complexity will be re-exposed to us through these times..

Think about public health policy, and then those sorry people who eat piles of poison in the modern industrialised menu and end up needing an ungodly amount of healthcare as a result? Easy to lay blame on the poor schmucks, or no less on the greedy insurers or HMOs, etc.. or maybe the food manufacturers and advertisers.. and who can resist taking jabs at a Mayor who makes a fairly clumsy, but not incorrect thrust into the heart of the Sugar Monster by trying to limit Soda Sizes?

We've been afforded the luxury of living in a string of La La Fantasies that helped mask us from the consequenses.. and so we have a 'can do' cultural narrative that refuses to compromise and take any flavor of NO for an answer.. alas!

So true about the infrastructure, it's often overlooked when looking at flood insurance program. But not if you are providing your own power, or roads, or waste disposal.

Long ago an old aquatic pollution professor said the wide brimmed Parisian hat of the late 1800's was a response to waste disposal. Chamber pots were just pitched out the upper floor windows to the street below.

The Power of the Sun

What could go wrong? lol.


London skyscraper proves to be hot property

The question of whether London's property market is overheating seems, for some at least, to have been answered.
The owners of one of the City's most distinctive skyscrapers are mulling a partial redesign after sunlight reflected from its concave windows scorched pedestrians and damaged parked cars.

For my most likely last post, it is nice to go out on a light note, thanks to Leanan and the crew as well as all contributors for the education and the ride. It has been good to see other peoples perspectives, and hopefully I have been able open the life of the oilfield which can be fairly insular at one level yet widely diverse on the other, by the back grounds of the people I work with, as well as the places my job takes me. I would not change it for quids. Every trip to work can become an adventure, and quite off does, lol

Even if the world does come to gloom and doom, at least there will be a bright spot in London.

Bye all

Toolpush / Dicko

Vdara visitor: 'Death ray' scorched hair

Las Vegas Review-Journal, Posted September 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Abbreviating a Thomas Edison quote...

"... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!..."

Interesting comment by Steven Kopits, on the Econbrowser website, "Coping with high oil prices"

While I can appreciate the role of electronic media on oil consumption, the thrust of the data suggests that people are driving less because they can't afford it. Remember, highway diesel and gasoline consumption have fallen less--far less--than oil consumption for aviation, commercial, industrial, power and residential uses. It would be fairer to assert that US consumers have fallen out of love with heating their homes--at least using oil.

Michael Sivak at UMTRI has a piece out on driver's licenses and economic activity. UMTRI conducted a survey on the matter. Of more than 600 respondents aged 18-39 without a driver's license, 46% were unemployed, and only 19% were employed full time (the balance being students and part-time employees).

Now, as Michael points out, you can argue the causation in either direction, but the statistic is still staggering. If you don't have a driver's license, and you're an adult less than 40 years old, then there's a greater than 80% chance you don't have a full time job.

That's simply stunning, no matter how you slice it.

Posted by: Steven Kopits at September 3, 2013 07:49 AM

Well enough, and chilling, no doubt, but if that has now earned the title of becoming 'uniquely American', it leads me to wonder what exactly is a 'Full Time' job? I just worked at Home Depot for a few months, and they WON'T give you full time status. It's a 29.5 hour week for most if not all new employees. Before that, I was a 'Seasonal Employee' at LL Bean, doing Christmas Personalization Monogramming.. Now I'm a 'Seasonal Freelancer', making Christmas Window decorations for Shop Windows.. Part of the new economy is to have eliminated the F/T employees from the rolls altogether it seems (from my unusual perspective) ..

Hope their stuff on ETSY is selling better than mine!

Encouraging signs for geothermal energy project

Montserrat officials say they are encouraged by the geothermal flow at the first well that became active last month.

The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) is funding the exploratory phase of the geothermal energy project and Premier Reuben Meade says he is hoping London will fund the entire project so that the resources and revenue can go to the people of Montserrat rather than to private firms.

St. Lucia with it's Soufriere Volcano and associated sulphur (hot) springs should have some good potential too.

Best hopes for getting non FF energy from wherever you can!

Alan from the islands

I'm wondering about something. As more non-FF comes into usage, won't that reduce demand on FF, lowering its price, encouraging it's continued usage, and because of Jevons Paradox the only thing that will happen is more overall energy will get used? Keep in mind there's a debt payback (Ponzi scheme) need for expansion, growth. The only way to discontinue that mentality, that need for growth, is to hit limits, but won't increasing non-FF simply push back those limits?

As oil displaced coal for many uses, coal production and use continued to increase, but that was a period of unprecedented growth and technical 'progress'. Liquid fuels coming on the scene drove the price of extracting coal for other uses down. Even though we're seeing numerous limits to growth come into play, including the marginal costs of bringing oil to market, we have serious issues with scale and the need for growth. Renewables have barely made a dent, globally; our appetite for fossil fuels hasn't waned. Together, China and India plan to build four coal-fired generating plants per week through 2022 while expanding renewables as well.

I haven't seen many 'Clean Coal' commercials lately. Maybe the industry is trying to figure out a new angle, or just plan on exporting it to China.

Renewables have barely made a dent, globally; our appetite for fossil fuels hasn't waned.

Exactly. It's like you've mentioned before Ghung, people will burn everything they can get their hands on. Just when you think that really ought to be enough of whatever, someone comes up with another way to maximize more usage. To change the equation a new paradigm shift of concern for more than the immediate gratification of the self would need to take place. But that will most likely require the hard knocks of bouncing off of finite limits. As TOD gets ready to take a swan dive into that goodnight, still waiting for that paradigm shift...(crickets)

This is late in the game, but it is ideal grist for the Drumbeat mill :-)

1930s research resulted in two new variants of avian viruses, with mammalian virus genes imbedded in them.


Surely we can do better today, with modern technology !

Not so Much Hope for Universal Wisdom,


As I replied to Seraph a few days back, it's the old viruses that are truly scary. The new ones have such a tough time making it over...to new hosts.

Smallpox. 30% mortality with Variola major. Could have been truly eradicated, not just declared same, in the 1980's. And there's every reason to believe both the US and Russia, of whom neither would give up their cultures, have produced new variants immune to any of our existing vaccines.

The Soviets made such a mutated virus, and then later disposed of ti by soaking with bleach and placing it on an island in the Aral Sea (now a peninsula).

Creating a new variant of an existing virus (see link) often leads to a strain that hosts have no resistance to at first.


I find it hard to believe the Soviets have disposed of their smallpox virus cultures, normal or re-engineered.

The earlier cited article is fascinating, but still, these cross species jumps are rare, as the article notes. The jump of the REV is even more notable in that it apparently jumped zoological orders. It's a double problem for the virus-it must first be able to live in the new host, and also cause illness.

As noted in the article, it is appearing in two avian viruses. They appear (I have not checked) to be different types of viruses.

Viruses need not cause illness to propogate. Of course, then we humans are less concerned about them.

I found the mechanism, human intervention, disturbing.

Supposedly, the Russians keep some freeze dried smallpox virus (normal phenotype) as do we. And after the Soviet Union fell apart, someone with decency and common sense decided to destroy the mutated version. (Not good to leave such stuff around when people go unpaid for 5 months, etc.)


Dunno exactly how long these various Drumbeats will stay 'live' - 7 days from origin, I guess. But come on over to http://www.energy-x.org/ where some of us are checking things out. No, it's not TOD, but it's got potential, it just needs y'all.

I would like to register, but the stupid site tells me that my email address is invalid. No clue why - maybe it doesn't like addresses that end in ".org"?

Eric, and anyone having a similar issue, please email me directly at info@aspousa.org. I need to understand the issue in more detail and be able to replicate for our IT person so that he can fix it. FYI, my address is a .org and that is unlikely to be the issue. Thanks, Jan

*Eric, I'll also send you an email separately.

Radiation level spikes further near toxic water tanks at Japan's Fukushima plant

Tokyo (CNN) -- Radiation readings near tanks holding toxic water at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant have jumped to a new high, the plant operator said Wednesday.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, which has been struggling to deal with a series of leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said it detected a radiation level of 2,200 millisieverts near the tanks on Tuesday. That's up from a previous high of 1,800 millisieverts on Saturday.

Those levels, detected around the same tank, are strong enough to kill an unprotected person within hours. But TEPCO said the type of radiation is easy to shield against.

Power cut leaves most of Venezuela without electricity

A power cut has left 70% of Venezuela without electricity, including parts of the capital Caracas.

The blackout disabled traffic lights in the city, causing traffic chaos. It also partially disrupted the underground transport system.

Thousands of workers were sent home. Power was slowly being restored in different areas after the cuts.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the opposition for "sabotage" to power transmission lines.

I'm still not sure I really understand the reason that TOD is shutting down (or rather going archival). I have kept hoping TPTB at TOD would have a change of heart. Alas, it seems not.

It has been fun, always educational, always interesting, and sometimes annoying. Time will tell if energy-x.org can take on a similar role.

Thanks to all those who made TOD and Drumbeat happen.

I think it boils down to the founders becoming tired of running the site and to protect its reputation, refusing to allow anyone else to take over.

There has been quite a bit of comment on Nate's post and the Drumbeat, of folks looking to goats as grazers on their farms/homesteads. Nate asks folks to refrain from responding to the commenter. First, tho most posters probably realize this, goats are actually browsers, like deer, not true grazers. They prefer more woody material-brush, shrubs, than grass. I think people should look harder at sheep, grazers, unless your objective is more for milk production. I can't think of any sheep breeds that work for milk. Then again, there's no fiber production in goats save specialty breeds.

Other considerations: some fundamental differences for production--generalities, not hard and fast-sheep prefer to feed below their shoulders, grass, while goats prefer above their shoulders, leaves, bushes. They may feed for quite awhile standing on their hind legs. What will be the predominate forage at your place? Not to say that the habits don't overlap with certain individuals, just the typical feeding.

Behavior is a big consideration. Goats tend to be escape artists, climbers, much more so than sheep. Sheep are harder to fence than say cattle, but goats take the cake for fencing. It's said if an enclosure won't hold water, it won't hold goats. And for smaller acreages, this might be real important, as your goats in the neighbor's prize roses can be quite a problem. They are more independent, and often feed for only a few bites, then wander, check something out. Whereas sheep tend to stay grazing in an area for long time intervals, moving with the rest of the flock.

There's smell. Male goats-billies-have glands on the side of their head which are quite a stink. And they have this habit of drinking their own urine, urinating on their face. After several weeks of hot, rainless summer weather, it's ripe.

Goats prefer dry forage, won't/dislike feeding in heavy dew or rain. On the other hand, sheep are well adapted to feeding almost in the clouds or in the desert. What's your climate or do you like grazing in the morning? In the job of converting plant material to food, sheep are just more business like. Goats require an adventurous shepherd, with a bunch of patience and high tolerance for problems/frustration.

I had heard that goats generally are used in areas with degraded soils where nothing else could thrive.

Or goats have created that condition. They really will eat nearly every form of plant materiel, and alot of other material too.

Not to say sheep won't browse, esp when hungry. I once had a guy wanted to buy 50 ewe lambs, a nice sale. I asked what he intended to do with them-replied he was starting a vineyard and wanted them to weed. The breed he wanted is a smaller, primitive breed, and I had a hard time convincing him it was not the way to go. It took several phone calls, he had it set in his mind, the sheep was a small grazer, therefore ideal for the grass competing with his young grapes vines.

Goats are not for me. We have sheep to keep things under control here. The grazer/browser difference is critical. We also like the wool we get each Spring. Plus, sheep will eat poison ivy and bittersweet, which is helpful.

In talking to my friends, it seems that goats are just about impossible to keep penned in, and impossible to keep from heading straight to your prized roses/shrubberies/whatever when they get loose, which they seem always to do.

The role of the two groups is crucial. The gut flora is tuned differently. Not to say goats don't produce on grass and alfalfa, but like cattle on grain, it's not near as efficient.

Sheep will hit alot of weeds, which makes them ideal for back or front grazing with cattle. One of my problems is knapweed, they will hit it hard early, but not much after it gets woody. But it's made a big difference.


"A study published by researchers at the University of Delaware last year found that a mix of solar and on- and offshore wind could provide reliable power for a large grid more than 99% of the time. But making it work would require building an enormously redundant system, with a nameplate capacity of almost triple the load under some scenarios. Most of that excess capacity would be idled all but a few days of the year."

Now that PV is "cheap" compared with storage, Many off grid systems can be designed for 100% requirements even on cloudy days, Triple nameplate is nothing, Nice challenge to have, what to do with the excess energy on sunny days, Would you rather invest in PV that lasts generations or batteries that last months. Thanks to LED's, Lighting loads are a fraction of what they used to be, Nightly consumption for lighting of under 3% of Battery capacity is not uncommon. You can flood house with brilliance for an evening with a motorcycle size battery.

If a household is cooking with electricity, the batteries will have to provide all the power for cooking a breakfast before sunrise or supper after sunset. This requirement likely determines the minimum sized battery array at something between 1,000 W and 3,600 W (i.e. 8 to 36 L-16 batteries).

Microwave, Induction, even multiple toaster ovens .. a single kWh goes far, Resistive Oven = Battery consumption before light. At least part of the year a secondary combustion woodstove is on standby in the kitchen. Just open input air. I hope/pray Lead Acid batteries are a thing of the past soon. They require know how for economical operation. Should be a given once EV's hit critical mass.

My house is set up about the same way you are describing: 1 microwave oven, 1 portable induction cooktop, 1 convection microwave oven and 1 wood stove that usually operates from November into May. When cooking for a single person, 1 kW of electricity is possible, but it becomes difficult when cooking for several people. The cook needs to operate 2 induction coils and possibly a microwave oven simultaneously which, even for an energy conscious cook, would consume over 2 kW. The battery array would need 16 to 20 L-16 batteries to handle my example. If the cook has a 4 element induction range wired with 240 VAC and 15 A, then it could consume 3,600 W requiring the battery array to be sized appropriately. Some other battery chemistry might be able to source a higher power with a lower total of stored energy than a lead-acid battery, but that battery will have to exist to be evaluated and have a competitive price to be a reasonable substitute.

A kWh, the energy stored by the battery, is not the limitation. The limitation is how much power, kW, the battery can source. A battery that stores 1 kWh would probably be unable to source 1 kW for an hour. Lead-acid batteries need to store about 19 kWh to source 1 kW at their rated discharge of 20 A. Lithium EV batteries need expensive cooling systems to do better.

Most lithium chemistry can run 3X Capacity discharge without running into any trouble and there's no Peukert effect to worry about. There are some seriously large-format LiFePO4 batteries available now, but I'm not sure about the ability to program charge controllers and inverter/chargers to play nice with them. The bigger limitation is usually on the charging side where you want to stay under 1X - 1.5X Capacity.

Because batteries have internal resistance, the higher the discharge rate, the greater the power dissipated within the battery and the lessor the energy delivered to the load.

Battery Performance Characteristics

The discharge curves for a Lithium Ion cell below show that the effective capacity of the cell is reduced if the cell is discharged at very high rates (or conversely increased with low discharge rates). This is called the capacity offset and the effect is common to most cell chemistries.